ZIMBABWE’S COVID-19 situation could get ugly in the not so distant future amidst indications of an increased daily positivity rate which may signal the arrival of a third wave which is likely to be deadlier and lethal owing to the emergence of new variants.
By Michael Gwarisa
The rise in new infections in Zimbabwe also follows the relaxation of the lockdown regulations from level four to an unspecified lower level which has seen daily activities and gatherings returning to normal as citizens try to fend for their families as well as catch up on lost time.
Data from the ministry of health Daily situation reports (SITREPS) that were reported between 10 and 11 March indicate that the daily positivity rate rose from 0.9% (10 March) to 2.1 % (11 March) while the number of active cases increased from 899 to 913 and deaths went up from zero to three within a space of 24 hours.
According to Public Health Expert and Mpilo General Hospital Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) Professor Solwayo Ngwenya who has also been the voice of reason since the pandemic was reported in the country, Zimbabwe could be headed for turbulent times and with coming in of new coronavirus strains, it might be difficult to survive the third wave of the pandemic.
Coronavirus is back to the old pattern again. Bulawayo starts with a high positivity rate pf 19.5%. Unfortunately, the third wave with the variants will be unforgiving, this time, things will erupt suddenly and catastrophically. Stay at home if you can, it could save your life,” said Prof Ngwenya.
New deadly COVID-19 variants have been reported in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US) and Brazil over the past few days which may herald the beginning of another dark phase in the global COVID-19 fight. The new variants include the P.2 strains from Brazil and the B.1.1.7 that was discovered in the United States.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe now has a cumulative total of 36,377 cases of Covid-19, 1492 deaths and 33,972 recoveries.