Harare, (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday warned that Zimbabwe was still far from accessing Covid-19 vaccines, ringing alarm bells over “complacency and recklessness” that has resulted in a surge in new infections.
The country has since March recorded 12 151 Covid-19 infections that resulted in 318 deaths.
And while new infections had slowed down in over three months, in what has been referred as the first wave, the country has in the past few weeks recorded a resurgence, recording on average 100 new cases on a weekly basis, now dubbed the second wave.
In a festive season message, President Mnangagwa said complacency by communities through disregarding laid down Covid-19 regulations and restrictions threatened to reverse all the gains recorded since the outbreak of the virus.
“Monitoring visits by the (Covid-19) Taskforce and others have clearly shown that most people, institutions and the general public are no longer strictly adhering to recommended preventive measures. Such complacency and recklessness are therefore a big concern to us all,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said adhering to set down regulations was currently the biggest defence the country had to contain the spread of the virus.
“The biggest concern and danger to our national response is the fact that people are not complying with the current Covid-19 restrictions and preventive measures. I am urging you all to the right thing, wear a face mask and do the right thing to protect yourself and those around you,” the Head of State said.
“We have come a long way and had made good progress together, yet the danger of losing all the gains made so far is staring us in the face with new cases on the increase mostly due to the complacency we are witnessing in our communities.”
He urged citizens to keep gatherings at a bare minimum during the festive season and to avoid unnecessary travel.
The government’s response to the pandemic, he said, will be meaningless without active citizen participation.
“Zimbabwe cannot afford to lose this Covid-19 battle simply because some communities are not adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures,” he said.
“If we successfully stop the spread of this virus, we will be in a better position to also address the many economic challenges and impacts that this disease has caused.”
He said Zimbabwe was also taking part in global efforts to come up with a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine.
Some developed countries including the United States and Russia have already approved vaccines that are being administered to citizens, although the World Health Organisation is yet to certify them.
“While a vaccine is the ultimate preventive measure, it is not available to us just yet,” President Mnangagwa warned.