Despite warnings of a possible third wave of Covid-19 infections this winter, some Zimbabweans are not heeding the warnings. Some have even thrown caution to the wind and in their eagerness to get back to normalcy, run the risk of pre-exposing not only themselves, but others to infections.
Buzz words such as social distancing, masking up and sanitize, which kept almost everyone on their toes at the start of the pandemic over a year ago, are now cliché. Health experts continue to urge caution, reminding people that the virus is still here and the public cannot let their guard down.
Meanwhile, health experts in Zimbabwe say authorities must take a firmer stance on Covid-19 prevention protocols to avoid a third wave of infections during the winter season. This comes amid concern that there is growing fatigue in their implementation. Mpilo hospital acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said “Authorities need to take a firmer stand against this coronavirus, we are onto a third a wave already as seen by increasing numbers of infected people and deaths arising.”
Health expert Itai Rusike concurred on the presence of the third wave which he said is already upon Zimbabweans and made worse by the levels of complacency exhibited about following Covid-19 regulations. Mr Rusike said it is also important that the national Covid-19 vaccination programme should not be derailed, in spite of shortages of the vaccine being reported by some vaccination centres.
Meanwhile, authorities in Zimbabwe have revealed that there are some individuals who are now selling Covid-19 vaccine doses, in direct violation of the country’s vaccination policies.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, said “Government takes a dim view of actors in the private sector who are charging Zimbabweans for jabs.”
He said, “Those who are not willing to participate in the vaccination programme on terms and parameters set by the government, are advised to look elsewhere for services, not around vaccinations.”
Zimbabwe is rolling out the vaccination programme free of charge to all citizens on a voluntary basis. Only tourists pay for the jab. Some areas in the country have experienced shortages of the vaccines, owing to what Government said was skewed distribution.
Vice President Chiwenga said Government is pulling all the stops to ensure the vaccination programme continues uninterrupted. He was speaking during the official opening of the Roman Catholic church run St Anne’s hospital in Harare.