Now More Than Ever, We Need To Be Disciplined To Cut The Chain Of Community Transmissions

A few weeks before Christmas I wrote an article: COVID-19 and the festive season: a time to guard against complacency; I also wrote about the need to effectively control human traffic movement into the country. Nevertheless; its now water under the bridge; we are used to reactive not proactive approaches.

By Dr Grant Murewanhema

At the moment we have widespread COVID-19 community transmission in Zimbabwe. We have not typed the virus, so we don’t know which strains are circulating, but anecdotally, we have a more virulent strain with a higher effective reproduction number. We are seeing younger people without commodities with marked symptoms and requiring hospitalisation, unlike in the first wave.

774 is a tip of the iceberg; the burden is much higher I would want to believe. Also, the 3 reported fatalities may not be the true number; sometimes there is a lag in reporting.

Yes the government announced a strict lockdown, but that alone can never be enough. We need to be disciplined in the communities where we live, because that’s where the virus is circulating. Lets stick to the basics of prevention; they remain the same. Mask-up, practise hand hygiene and cough etiquette, and practise physical distancing. Isolate upon development of symptoms, even if you fail to access testing immediately.

For fever, I recommend paracetamol. Drink plenty of fluids. Home remedies are good for mild disease but once your symptoms worsen seek immediate medical attention. Small pulse oximeters are very good for measuring your own oxygen saturation at home. Keep eating well during this period, including fruits, veggies and all sorts of vitamins, and hydrate well.

Personally I wouldn’t want to be policed to look after my own well-being; I prefer taking responsibility to protect myself, my family, my community, my patients and my co-workers and colleagues.

We will defeat this but we need to make some sacrifices. Remain blessed.

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