Zim marks first Covid-19 anniversary
Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe on Saturday marked the first anniversary since the first Covid-19 case was recorded on
March 20, 2020.
Then Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo, announced a foreigner, living in Victoria Falls, who had just returned from the United Kingdom, had tested positive for coronavirus.
Two days later, media personality, Zororo Makamba, who was the second person to be confirmed positive, succumbed to the disease which had already wrecked havoc in China where it was first detected and in the Western world.
Since then, the country has recorded 36 652 infections and 1 510 deaths in two waves of the pandemic.
Experts say a third wave is possibly on the horizon, following the recent relaxation of lockdown measures.
Among those to succumb to the pandemic have been cabinet ministers, ambassadors, captains of industry, journalists and ordinary citizens.
The pandemic has also had a heavy toll on the economy, which suffered from national lockdowns, and shed many jobs.
This in turn has had social impacts including rising poverty levels, gender based violence cases and mental health issues.
In various addresses to the nation, President Mnangagwa has continued to urge citizens not to let their guard down, and to continue observing set health protocols.
“Since 2020, Zimbabwe like the rest of the world, has been fighting Covid-19, we have lost many of our loved ones and those who have survived are still coming to terms with the trauma, our way of life has changed as we adjust to the new normal,” he said, in a short video posted on his social media accounts last weekend.
The country has rolled out a vaccination programme against Covid-19, becoming one of the first African nations to do so.
This has given Zimbabwe a glimmer of hope it could defeat the pandemic in the months ahead.
In nearly a month since the vaccination programme was launched, over 40 000 front line workers have been vaccinated.
The country has taken delivery of 600 000 dosses of the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines from China. More are expected from India, Russsia, the United Kingdom, China and from the World Health Organisation.
The target is to vaccinate at least 10 million people for the country to achieve herd immunity.
But there are concerns and worries about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines among the population.
Developments mainly in the western world, where use of some vaccines has been suspended for different reasons, have not helped matters.
But President Mnangagwa and other health officials are urging the nation to get vaccinated when their turn comes.
“Many have been asking, is there a way out? Is there protection against Covid-19? Well, I am here to tell you that you and I have a role to play in this fight. Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered to Zimbabwe, these vaccines help minimise the risk of infection and are being administered all over Zimbabwe free of charge,” he said.
“You and I need to defeat the disease. So get vaccinated now, this is our stand against Covid-19, together we will conquer, get vaccinated now.”
It remains to be seen when and how the world will effectively conquer and relegate Covid-19 to a minor health issue.
For now, masking up, social distancing and vaccinating, remain among top solutions to curtail its spread.