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Covid-19 complacency could harm Masvingo



THERE are fears that Covid-19 cases in Masvingo could rise as many people are no longer observing the World Health Organisation (WHO) prevention guidelines.

The province recorded two new cases on Wednesday after 113 tests, increasing the number of active cases to five. More than 25 000 people were arrested for violating the lockdown since last year.

The province is warming up to the vaccination programme as more people are now going to health institutions to receive the vaccine. To date, 33 580 people have received the first dose while 12 402 received the second dose at health centres across the province.

The province’s Covid-19 taskforce spokesperson Rodgers Irimayi told The NewsHawks that his taskforce is concerned by the increasing number of people who are violating regulations aimed at stopping the spread of the deadly virus.

He said active cases are fluctuating after two more people tested positive on Wednesday, raising fears infection numbers could rise again since many people have dropped their guard.

“On Wednesday, two more people tested positive to the coronavirus after 131 tests. Cases are fluctuating although on a low note, showing that the virus is still within our province. We are worried by the number of people who are violating rules aimed at controlling the virus. Over 25 000 people were arrested in the province for violating lockdown rules and it is worrying that many people are moving around without masks and they are no longer observing social distance,” said Irimayi.

He added that the vaccination programme is ongoing at all health centres, including clinics in remote areas. He urged people to go for vaccination.

“We are seeing more people coming forward for vaccination as compared to the previous period. We are urging residents to visit all health centres, including those clinics found in remote locations,” said Irimayi.

A senior health official in the province told The NewsHawks that there is a need for the government, through the ministry of Health and Child Care, to embark on a campaign to educate people in rural areas about the advantages of Covid-19 vaccination.

He said health officials at rural clinics are not giving people enough information about vaccines, leading to low turnout as people are yet to be assured about the safety of the vaccine.

“There are various myths about the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and the other vaccine from India. People believe that if they are vaccinated they will die so the government should engage people in rural areas who are not able to access information through the radio or newspapers. If you visit the rural areas, you will hear many stories and that is the reason why at times we see a low uptake of the vaccine.”

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