guest column:Johannes Marisa
COVID-19 continues to take lives all over the world with many countries struggling to contain the spread of the virus. The beginning of January 2021 was a misery with increased morbidity and mortality. Our country experienced a sudden surge of difficult and complicated COVID-19 cases that culminated in pressure on hospital beds, oxygen and medications. The medical staff had to endure long hours of work in order to cope with the resultant pressure.
Australia’s think-tank, Lowy Institute, has ranked Zimbabwe 38th out of 98 countries globally and 7th on the continent in the management of the coronavirus.
South Africa, which received the first batch of vaccines on Monday, was ranked 82nd while Mozambique and Malawi were placed on 26th and 27th positions respectively.
While many people in the world thought that our country would be wiped by the coronavirus, we stood tall against the virus.
Public health measures like social distancing, wearing of masks, sanitisation and hand washing sounded absurd yet they are of paramount importance if the war is to be won.
People should not forget to pray to our living God.
He has answers and for those who have been following figures released by John Hopkins University, Sundays have on numerous times, recorded the lowest numbers of deaths.
Let us meditate and our voices will be heard.
Patience is needed if our fight against the coronavirus is to be won.
Unanticipated decisions were taken and everyone should know that COVID-19 is a novel virus that needs exceptional measures.
In 2020 words like sanitisation, quarantine, lockdown, social distancing became our national anthem.
It was ridiculous for many to wear masks and life seemed to have changed for rural people who would not easily avoid handshakes, especially at funerals. Our culture was surely razed to the ground.
Lockdowns were introduced in many countries including Zimbabwe but they were received with mixed feelings with economists arguing that prolonged lockdowns would decimate the economy while politicians thought it was a political game to further the interests of one political party.
Medical practitioners saw it necessary to impose the restrictions as they would discourage gatherings.
Events in some high-density suburbs where people would gather in large numbers, were a bad omen.
The move by the Health minister to introduce the lockdown was a very noble and appropriate action that deserved everyone’s support.
Had the country not introduced a lockdown, we could have been saddled with very high morbidity and mortality by now.
What is now left is for the nation to abide by the regulations so that we minimise the chances of transmitting the virus to the next person.
Schoolchildren should accept that opening of schools before we flatten our epidemiological curve can be detrimental to their health as schools may be super spreaders in no time.
Let all of us understand that patience pays. Let our school-going children be disturbed as long as they remain healthy.
Development of any sort can only happen where there is a healthy workforce.
Big brains have succumbed to the notorious virus and it is sad that one of the finest doctors in Zimbabwe, Professor James Hakim, departed from us, leaving a gap that is very difficult to fill.
On Tuesday, we woke up to the sad news that one of the greatest surgeons, Dr Tendai Mutwira, had succumbed to COVID-19.
What a tragedy for the nation and his team at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital.
COVID-19 needs all of us to tighten our belts if we are to triumph against this scourge.
Vaccines have been talked about and many have surely been reading social media posts which carry myths, beliefs and some unnecessary connotations.
People should know that the available vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are simple messenger Ribonucleic Acid (m RNA) vaccines that do not contain the virus.
Such vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies.
The immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the virus enters our bodies.
Like all other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines can also have some side effects which include fever, nausea, rash, weakness, loss of appetite et cetera.
These are, however, manageable and social media mongers should not relay false information that discourages appropriate health action. Many African countries are still to acquire the vaccines.
The delay to get the vaccines can be due to a number of reasons, some of them being that there is a shortage of financial resources in many of the developing countries. Some countries are merely reluctant to take the vaccines because they are waiting to hear success stories from the countries that have embarked on vaccination programmes.
Sometimes patience pays as waiting may give ample time to analyse results from others. It is not surprising that the mutant strains of COVID-19 may be found to be insensitive to the existing vaccines.
Let us remain vigilant about COVID-19. We need a healthy nation. It all begins with you and me.