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Provincial Newspapers The Times

Zimbabwe on high alert for new Covid-19 variant


Zimbabwe remains on high alert for COVID-19 following the confirmation of a new variant in
neighbouring South Africa, which health authorities say spreads very fast.

Ministry of Health and Child Care public relations and communications manager Donald Mujiri said
they are continuing to encourage people to get vaccinated against the virus.

“The ministry has always monitored situations on the ground and continues to do so, we have not
laxed on our response to COVID-19,” he said in response to questions on whether Zimbabwe had
any specific approach to the new COVID-Omicron XBB variant which China is battling.The World
Health Organisation (WHO) says it is concerned about how quickly the XBB.1.5 subvariant spreads,
noting that it is the most transmissible subvariant ever detected.

Currently, WHO does not have any data on the seriousness of XBB.1.5, but it says there is no
indication that it makes people more sick than previous subvariants.

In the week to January 8, 2023, Zimbabwe recorded 29 Covid cases and no deaths – but not of the
new variant.

In 2020 and 2021, Zimbabwe experienced four waves of COVID-19.

According to a 2022 study, after the first case of COVID-19 reported in March 2020, in October, more
than 8000 cases and 243 deaths were recorded. The peak of the second wave was between
November 2020 and January 2021, third wave was in July 2021 and forth wave was in December

Currently, the rates of new cases and deaths have eased but new cases are still being recorded.

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