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The Times

Spike in Covid-19 cases feared as winter approaches


By Rachel Masukuma
A senior Government official in Masvingo has warned of a possible rise in Covid-19 positive cases with the onset of winter.
As temperatures begin to dip in the country, signaling the onset of winter, Masvingo Covid-19 Provincial Taskforce spokesperson, Rodgers Irimayi, said a gradual increase had been noted in Covid-19 cases and urged members of the public to protect themselves against the deadly and highly contagious respiratory disease.
“Please take note that there is a gradual rising of active cases as we approach the winter season, from 11 active cases on April 23, 17 on April 27, 21 on April 30, 22 on May 1, 23 on May 31 and 36 on May 4, 5 and 6 respectively. The trend is clear that we are likely going to record more cases into the winter. There is need for people to protect themselves,” Irimayi wrote on a stakeholders’ social media platform last week.
He said people are still encouraged to get vaccinated while those that have received their second doses should go for the third booster shots of which 56 359 people have taken the jab in the province.
“The third Covid-19 jab is being encouraged for those who have been vaccinated for the second time, there are many who have received the vaccine as shown by the statistics. For those 12 years and above and eligible for vaccination, a total of 616 620 have received the first dose which is 52 percent of the targeted population. A total of 408 599 which is 34 percent have so far received the second jab whilst 56 359 which is 4, 8 percent received the third booster vaccine by 8 May 2022,” Irimayi said.
He said that people were taking the third dose but it takes time for one to receive the third booster vaccine since there is need to wait for six months after receiving the second one.
“They are taking the jab, they need to wait for six months so it’s a process of waiting for the right time,” he said.
As of last Thursday, Masvingo had 39 active cases with four new cases recorded on the day, three in Masvingo district and one in Gutu bringing the province’s cumulative total to 21 559 of which 21 315 have recovered. The province has recorded 205 deaths since the first Covid-19 case was recorded in the country in March 2020.
At national level, 165 new cases were recorded on the day to bring the total active cases to 1 158. Recoveries on the day were 46. These latest figures bring the cumulative total to 248 943 and recoveries to 242 304 and deaths to 5 481. The national recovery rates stands at 97 percent. People that have received the first vaccination dose stood at 6 009 239 with 4 092814 having received the second dose.