Don’t Relax As Yet, It’s Possible To Experience A COVID-19 Resurgence In Zim Says Dr Gasasira

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) Zimbabwe country representative, Dr Alex Gasasira says the current low COVID-19 infection rate in Zimbabwe was not a license to flaunt COVID-19 preventions measures as doing so would lead to a second wave of infections.

By Michael Gwarisa

His comments come at the back of increased reports that citizens were now going about their business as usual without observing physical distancing, masking and hand-washing as prescribed by the WHO guidelines.  

In an interview on the sidelines of a handover ceremony of COVID-19 test kits to the government of Zimbabwe, Dr Gasasira said the only way to avoid a second spike in infections was through complying with COVID-19 measures until a vaccine has been found.  

If we are complacent, if we do not comply with the preventive measures, we will experience a resurgence. We are seeing this in other countries. Yes we have been like this for several months, Yes people may be tired but every life we can serve by implanting the preventive measures is an important life.

“My message to the Zimbabwe is that let us continue to comply with the preventive measures until have a vaccine and until we have medication. It is only when we have a vaccine that we can relax all the preventive measures,” said Dr Gasasira.

Zimbabwe currently has a cumulative total of 8187 COVID1-19 cases, 7692 recovered cases, 262 active cases and 233 deaths. Dr Gasasira however applauded Zimbabwe for putting up a spirited fight against COVID-19.

“As WHO, we are very grateful to the government for championing the response to COVID-19 and the people of Zimbabwe that headed the call and complied with the measures to prevent transmission. In fact, these measures that we all know that included physical distancing, hand hygiene, and limiting travel, wearing g of masks all of these factors have contributed to the reduction in the number of new cases that Zimbabwe has registered.

“The most important message no is that we have to continue complying with these measures. Many countries in Africa and even the world is now experiencing a resurgence. How does a resurgence start? A resurgence starts when we give the virus the opportunity to spread.

“The fact that we are having reduced number of cases, does not mean we should relax, we should continue complying, observing physical distancing, hand hygiene, and wearing of face masks and to the extent possible, limit our travel to that that is absolutely necessary.”

Meanwhile, countries across Europe are seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after successfully slowing outbreaks early in the year. The vast majority of countries are declaring more cases each day now than they were during the first wave earlier this year.

Global coronavirus cases and deaths have climbed again since the beginning of June. The centre of the pandemic has shifted to Latin America with Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia currently reporting the greatest number of daily deaths as a share of population. Large emerging market countries such as Brazil, Russia, Mexico, India and South Africa are all showing fatalities on an upward trend.

New confirmed cases have also been increasing in the US, particularly in southern and western states such as Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, and there are indications of a resurgence of cases in several EU countries.

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