Surge in COVID-19 admissions worries govt

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Monica Mutsvangwa

BY METHEMBE SIBANDA/ PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE

GOVERNMENT yesterday expressed concern over increasing COVID-19 hospital admissions.

This was revealed at a post-Cabinet media briefing by Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who stated that although there were reported COVID-19 cases in schools, they were not severe.

“During the week under review, the number of people in need of hospitalisation for COVID-19 increased and the bed occupancy rate increased from 2% last week to 3,2% this week,” Mutsvangwa said.

“A total of 81 new admissions were recorded during the week compared to 51 which occurred last week. No patient was admitted to the intensive care unit,” she said.

Mutsvangwa said the increase in admissions was due to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

On Monday, the World Health Organisation urged countries not to declare victory over the coronavirus even though COVID-19 deaths had significantly dropped globally.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said it was too early for countries to declare victory as some countries still had high hospitalisation rates, adding that people should not be complacent.

“With high transmission, the threat of new and more dangerous variants remains very real,” he said, adding that people should continue to protect themselves.

Latest updates from the Health and Child Care ministry state that provinces that contributed significantly to COVID-19 hospitalisations were Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland.

Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa said: “Globally, cases are declining, but we cannot say the same about Zimbabwe. We need to remain vigilant as a nation; victory is still distant as long as the virus continues to appear with mutant strains. We can be hit anytime by another
wave.”

Senior Hospital Doctors Association President Shingai Nyaguse said: “It is not that surprising given that schools have opened plus the number of rallies being held.  As to whether we are in another wave was difficult to say. However, between vaccination and natural immunity, a significant portion of the population should have some protection. At this stage doctors and hospital admissions are more important than case counts, and these have remained low. Those with risk factors are encouraged to go for booster shots.”

Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa announced that the number of teachers reporting for work had risen to 93,4%.

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