Time to take COVID-19 warnings seriously

Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe president Johannes Marisa

By Johannes Marisa

HEALTH experts have warned that the fourth wave of COVID-19 is on its way and is likely to hit us next month. Looking at the pattern of the coronavirus, this is highly possible and can see us having  a miserable festive season.

The pandemic seems to be far from over and it is a pity that many lives will be lost. Economically, COVID-19 is a calamity. Billions of potential revenue have been lost because of industrial incapacitation.

The virus is stubborn and has potential to kill many. It is unfortunate that many people gave themselves false hope that high temperatures would eliminate COVID-19. Do not be caught off-side as we face the deadly fourth wave.

Globally, over five million people have died of COVID-19, with more than 140 000 health workers succumbing to the virus, Zimbabwe accounting for 78.

This is a big blow for a country like ours which has a small population of around 15 million people. We lost renowned physicians, professors, doctors, engineers, nurses and many more to the pandemic.

Today, the world records around half a million new cases daily, with mortality hovering around 8 000 people.  It is tragic and the threat posed by the virus is unprecedented.

USA, Russia, Romania, Ukraine are battling the coronavirus lately despite having quite low numbers three months ago. COVID-19 is real and it requires us to remain vigilant for a long time. The waves keep on coming and if we are to be hit again in Zimbabwe, it will be the fourth wave of which it is inevitable if we do not take heed of medical advice.

The threat to humanity is real and it is time we realised the gravity of the situation on the ground.

We seem far from over with this calamitous virus that is threatening to wipe out the entire world. We need to remain vigilant for some time.

It is, thus important to point out that everyone should at least have some basic understanding of why the virus is very stubborn.

Our concerns as medical professionals are many, if we are to remain safe, there is need for more research on this sadistic virus. The following have been some of the major areas of concern so far and everyone should know for their benefit:

  • Vaccination is being snubbed by many yet it gives us some protection. It would have been better if at least 60% of the population was inoculated in order to achieve  herd immunity.

If COVID-19 strikes today with just a few people having been vaccinated, the gravity of the attack may be very serious. It is, thus imperative to get vaccinated if we are to be safe when the fourth wave strikes. Get vaccinated today!

  • People should know that COVID-19 is hitting for the fourth time, making it one of the most feared viruses in the world. Usually with other viruses,  natural immunity would rise by being infected and it would be rare to suffer a debilitating disease after the first attack.

COVID-19 is hitting harder patients with comorbidities like diabetes because it complicates quickly. This is bad and the threat to humanity is unprecedented.

  • The waves ahead may be worse than the previous ones because of mutant strains.

That alone poses a serious threat to humankind as there may be drug resistance, high speed of transmission, high morbidity, high mortality. COVID-19 is a menace for real and we should never forget that it may be with us for a long time.

The fourth wave has already hit many countries which are experiencing a surge in new cases and deaths.

  • Abandoning public health measures is at your own peril as the war is not over yet.

Africa, for sure, is enjoying a break in terms of COVID-19 attacks. That should give us ample time to prepare for the next possible attack.

We need more hospital beds, oxygen plants, drugs and staff to look after COVID-19 patients in the likely event of another strike. We are enjoying this breath of fresh air today because our astute medical practitioners stood tall to defend the nation against the merciless virus.

Thumbs up to our dedicated health workforce! Despite numerous challenges pertaining to working conditions, medical staff continued to work for the love of patients.

  • People should realise that those who suffered from COVID-19 may have long-term complications, some of them life-threatening. There are patients, who developed clots 90 days after having an acute attack of COVID-19.

Many have developed a condition that makes one endure COVID-19 effects for more than 30 days. A lot more have suffered from respiratory distress syndrome for some time while others have had their kidneys affected. This is COVID-19 and it should be taken seriously, patients may require long-term care if we are to remain safe for a long time.

  • The fourth wave is on its way and people should know that before year end, we are under attack again. Let us do everything possible to keep the virus in check. COVID-19 is a threat to humanity. Precautionary measures should be taken in schools so that they are not superspreaders. Our children’s health should be accorded top priority. Government has introduced vaccination for the 16-17-year age group, which will see many schoolchildren getting the jab.

The end seems to be far as the world faces multiple waves of the coronavirus.

What we should now be accustomed to is that the coronavirus may be with us for quite a long time and it will not be a surprise if the following three years see us in a more precarious position than what we are today.

This is the time for all stakeholders to collaborate in order to bring health to the people and one such important effort is vaccination.

It is absurd that there are many people who are still at the forefront of disinformation and misinformation concerning vaccines, yet many people are still losing family members due to COVID-19.

Vaccination does not mean one will not suffer from the virus anymore. It means you may withstand complications should they arise as your body would have been exposed to the protein.

Just remember that COVID-19 is still roaming around, hence the need to remain alert. We should not slacken our belts lest we perish. Report symptoms early like sore throat, headache,  fever, loss of appetite,  joint pains, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell.

Get your COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth wave is imminent.

Get protected.