ZIMBABWE’S health sector could crush to its knees if the mutant COVID-19 variant in India finds its way into the country, a Public Health Expert has warned.
By Michael Gwarisa
India is currently grappling with a second wave of the Coronavirus and for the first times, India recorded more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases over a period of 24 hours on Saturday while the country’s massive new vaccination drive was hampered in some areas by shortages of the shots.
However, other countries such as Australia and Nigeria have already issued travel advisories in a bid to curb the importation of the highly virulent mutant triple variant from India and other countries such as Turkey and Brazil. The India COVID travel ban to Australia begins today.
In an interview with HealthTimes, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director, Mr Itai Rusike said a bold decision needs to be made earlier before the situation gets out of control.
The government of Zimbabwe should seriously consider taking preventive measures by banning travellers coming from India in the wake of the horrific Covid-19 cases in line with the actions taken by other countries such as Australia and the United States of America.
“The public health measures may assist in reducing the impact of the Indian variant that may result in devastating effects to the Covid-19 national response and the public health delivery services. I hope Zimbabwe is learning important public health lessons from the horrific Covid-19 situation in India as it is important for the country to be guided by science and evidence whilst it is also critical to put people at the center of the response as community participation and ownership is key for an informed community in order to reduce public complacency,” said Mr Rusike.
In india, authorities reported that401,993 new cases in the previous 24 hours, after 10 consecutive days of more than 300,000 daily cases. Deaths jumped by 3,523, taking the country’s total toll to 211,853, according to the federal health ministry.