MOST residents in Bulawayo’s Covid-19 hotspot suburbs continue to flout Covid-19 prevention measures when the country is continuing to witness a surge in cases due to the Delta variant, which was detected in India first.
President Mnangagwa recently revealed that about 80 percent of all new infections being recorded in the country are due to the Delta variant.
According to a Ministry of Health and Child Care report, the city on Wednesday recorded 94 new cases and 14 deaths. All the cases in Bulawayo were recorded in the city’s hotspots.
As of July 28, Zimbabwe had recorded 103 567 confirmed cases, 71 383 recoveries and 3 340 deaths.
Health experts said laxity and non-adherence to preventive measures is contributing to a spike in new infections.
Bulawayo consultant paediatrician Dr Wedu Ndebele warned that complacency by residents could lead to more deaths.
“We are still in the third wave and cases are still going up and lots of people are sick and hospitals are full. So, it is important for people to take necessary health precautions such as avoiding crowded areas, gatherings and adhere to the preventive measures such as masking up and sanitising,” he said.
Dr Ndebele noted that there was complacency among youths, hence they are not being spared by the new variant.
“This Delta variant is also affecting much younger people who have been relaxed.
“We are also having children being admitted to hospitals and if we are not careful, we will spread this deadly virus to our family including children,” he said.
Dr Ndebele also urged people to get vaccinated. He also urged businesses to limit and monitor the number of people entering their shops at any given time to curb the transmission of the virus.
“The situation can easily flare up into a full-fledged third wave because people are complacent and what is worsening the situation is that we are in winter when the virus spreads very fast,” he said.
Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said complacency among residents is driven by a lack of individual awareness.
“Complacency is going to fuel more infections and already there are many people in the community who have not been tested and thus continue to spread the virus. Covid-19 is real and I am afraid we have reached a stage where there is a widespread mass infection in the community,” he said.
“We are likely to continue recording more deaths unless drastic measures are taken or people change their behaviour. There are so many people untested out there and therefore by mingling.”
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube expressed concern over the level of complacency in the city, which she blamed for a spike in Covid-19 cases.
“Our people are not following health protocols and that is why we are recording a sharp increase in cases in Bulawayo. In terms of the lockdown regulations, all public gatherings have been banned because they are super spreaders,” she said.