Most Zimbabweans let down their guard against Covid-19

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Harare(New- Ziana) –Most Zimbabweans have practically abandoned measures to avoid contracting Covid-19 with the majority no longer observing the World Health Organisation (WHO) and government stipulated preventive measures.

The government relaxed most Covid-19 restrictions to allow economic activity to flourish following a decrease in new COVID-19 infections and deaths, while maintaining the basic preventive measures such as hand sanitising, wearing of face masks, and social distancing.

It however appears the public took the relaxation as a signal that the pandemic had ended and people could now go about their daily businesses unhindered by face masks and keeping distances.

“Wearing face masks every day is now boring, plus l do not see any reason for wearing them since everything now functions the way it used to be before the pandemic,” said Shepherd Dzinoreva who was walking along Fourth Street with his face mask protruding from his pocket.

A student with a local private college, Terrence Chapfidza from Norton said he did not feel comfortable wearing a face mask as he was asthmatic and it triggered attacks.

“And also following the decrease in Covid-19 infections and the relaxation of most containment measures, wearing a face mask is now a burden,” he added.

The COVID-19 virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 and quickly spread to other continents and regions, killing millions of people while countries battled to find a vaccine.

It spreads through an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, breathe or touch surfaces.

Many Zimbabweans are now wearing face masks out of fear of being arrested by the police and in order to board public transport.

In high density areas, people now move around without face masks and gather in groups, while most shops no longer insist on observing preventive protocols.

“l only wear a face mask when in town to avoid arrest, but to be honest, l do not think that Covid-19 is still among us,” said Dzingirai Mashiringo from Highfield.

The government procured adequate vaccines, including the booster doses, and continues to urge citizens to get jabbed as it races to inoculate 60 percent of the population to attain head immunity.

It also continues to urge members of the public not to be complacent, stressing that the disease is still there and cases could spike again.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike concurred that the general public got the impression that the disease had gone when the government eased strict Covid-19 regulations.

Rusike said if only locals knew that in some countries like India and Pakistan citizens were dying from Covid-19, they would not let down their guard.

The government has moved to make it even easier for people to get both the second and booster shots by deploying teams at public places in cities and town centres as well as where they gather for social activities.

Some countries, particularly in Europe, have since lifted the requirement to wear face masks and practicing social distancing outdoors, after experiencing marked decreases in infections following massive vaccination campaigns.

New Ziana

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