HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsCOVID-19 hitting harder than before

COVID-19 hitting harder than before

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THE world is being hammered left, right and centre by the notorious coronavirus. Many countries are in trouble at the moment, with Europe going through a more serious second wave of the coronavirus.

guest column:Johannes Marisa

So far, the official mortality of COVID-19 is about 1,413 million deaths globally, with more than 57 million people having been infected with the virus.

We have to realise that there are some deaths that are not reported and are not enumerated. It is alarming that the number of new cases are increasing by the day, with more than
600 000 cases being recorded daily.

This is a major increase in cases from the April/May 2020 era where there used to be about 40 000 cases per day. The sign is very simple: COVID-19 is worsening and is far from being over.

The United States is the worst affected country in the world, with deaths of more than 258 000 followed by Brazil and India.

Africa has fared quite well, with slightly above two million people being affected, representing around 3,6% of the infections in the world.

South Africa is the worst affected country in Africa with more than 757 000 cases. Zimbabwe has recorded just around 9 400 cases, so far with about 274 official deaths. We applaud our national efforts in combating the spread of the virus despite the limited resources.

The nation should be reminded that COVID-19 is still a menace and is more cunning than the days of gross fear when even supermarkets were very serious about checking everyone’s temperature on entering their premises, when everyone saw it necessary to put on masks, when many moved around with hand sanitisers in their bags or cars.

Europe relaxed restrictions in July after noticing a decline in the number of cases, but it recorded a resurgence of cases in mid-October 2020 with increased mortality.

Countries like Poland came into focus with high daily deaths. The second wave of the infection is really disastrous. We hope we will not be caught offside in Zimbabwe as we begin to record an increase in the number of cases again.

Research so far seems to pinpoint human behaviour as a serious contributor to this second wave of infections.

In order to keep our country safe in terms of COVID-19 infections, it is wise that people revert to public health measures as soon as possible before it is too late.

We do not want a catastrophe in the near future. The following measures should thus remain in place and the more we observe them, the earlier we avert the impending disaster. People should not forget the following:

That masks remain very important in combating the spread of the virus. Lately, people have been complacent, especially in high-density suburbs to the extent that some do not even put on masks for the entire week.

This public health measure should be treated seriously if we are to remain afloat as a nation.

 Social distancing has not been substituted by anything, so it remains very important and should thus be observed. Gatherings that do not guarantee at least a distance of two metres should not be allowed as crowding can be a serious spreader of the deadly virus.

Government lifted restrictions on some gatherings like weddings and churches, but with limitations on the number of attendees who should be 100 or less. This should be observed and breaching these guidelines will only be detrimental to our health as a nation.

Remember, COVID-19 started with one person in the world, after which it spread around world and now the whole world is in a health quandary. Prevention is better than cure.

 Awareness is very important. Many people are fooling themselves into believing that COVID-19 has gone away.

The media should continue playing its important role of educating the nation. Everyone should continue making noise about COVID-19 in order to remain up-to-date with events.

 High risk groups of people like diabetics, cardiac failure patients, asthmatics or the aged should remain vigilant. In case of suspicious infections, it is wise to visit medical centres or hospitals early so that early tests are undertaken and appropriate action taken before the disease complicates. For diabetics, please keep your sugar under control everyday.

 Do not forget to wash your hands with soap or sanitisers. This public health measure was slowly sinking lately with very few people using sanitisers.

Hand-washing has been ignored, especially in rural areas. I noted hand-shaking at a recent funeral where there was not water to wash hands thereafter. COVID-19 is still a menace.

Tell the next person that COVID-19 is still a menace. It is waiting to strike if you do not remain vigilant. Let the fighting spirit prevail. Together, we will conquer this virus.

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