Exercise caution in Covid-19 measures relaxation

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WITH cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) continuing to rise in the country, the government must exercise extreme caution in relaxing measures it employed to arrest and mitigate the spread of the pandemic when it decreed a national lockdown on March 30.

As of Wednesday night, the country had recorded 605 positive cases of the lethal disease, including seven deaths and 166 recoveries. What is of great concern and worry is the continued increase in local transmissions.

On Wednesday alone, the country recorded 13 positive locally transmitted cases and what is scary is that only two infections can be traced to known confirmed cases. Health and Child Care ministry has since launched investigations to establish the source of the other 11 infections.

The government has been relaxing lockdown measures at a time when cases of Covid-19 have been increasing, though at a snail’s pace as compared to what is happening in South Africa.

The relaxation is mainly meant to save the economy, which is tanking due to a myriad of issues connected to a toxic political environment in the country.

The government has in recent weeks opened up industry, commerce and registered informal sectors under strict conditions, which have largely been ignored. Just this week, the government further relaxed the lockdown strictures, allowing restaurants and the tourism industry to open.

“In the tourism and hospitality sector, requests for variations of operating conditions in respect of restaurant operators and to reopen safari operators for local hunting only and national parks were granted. Restaurants will now be allowed to serve sit-in meals at 50 percent of the restaurant’s sitting capacity,” Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday.

Reports abound that the government has also allowed gyms to operate despite conditions they operate in — they are breeding grounds for easy transmission, not only for Covid-19, but other communicable diseases.

We agree with health experts that there is a need for caution in the relaxation of coronavirus measures and their fears are founded that the country will witness more cases of the pandemic.

In high density suburbs and rural areas, social distancing and enforcement of the wearing of masks has since been abandoned. Business in these areas has returned to the usual and it’s a matter of time before cases of the pandemic are recorded in huge numbers.

We agree with the secretary-general of the Senior Hospital Doctors Association, Arron Musara, who encouraged the government to ensure that measures are maintained to avoid the increase of infections.

Let those with ears hear!

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