MATABELELAND North minister of State Richard Moyo says the government’s decision to vaccinate everyone in Victoria Falls against the Covid-19 had left other towns in the province vulnerable to the virulent virus.
Moyo told the Daily News that they were now on a drive to vaccinate a large number of the population in hotspots, amid a rise in positive cases in the province.
“We focused more on Victoria Falls and many people got vaccinated and right now we are not recording cases. However, we regret neglecting the likes of Hwange because now the cases are soaring.
“Therefore, we have resolved to focus on these hotspots in order to curb the spread.
“There is a spike of Covid-19 cases. We just received 15 000 doses and we are targeting mass vaccination in hotspots. We have already instructed the health personnel to take vaccines to Binga, Hwange, Nkayi and Lupane which are hotspots. Mass testing is very necessary because as we speak we have active cases and if we relax, we will see a rise in infections, something we do not want,” Moyo said.
Moyo said there was an urgent need to vaccinate the people before the situation gets out of hand.
“As of Thursday, Hwange had recorded 50 new cases, Binga 25, Nkayi 15, Tsholotsho 11 and Umguza 11, bringing the total to 139. This really calls for a mass vaccination,” he said, adding that the government was doing everything possible to contain the situation.
“As government we are coming up with ways to mitigate the situation through availing vaccines and imposing lockdowns. This virus is more dangerous and life threatening … People should take a leaf from Victoria Falls, after getting jabs there are less to no cases, which means the vaccine works.
“At least when you get the infection, your system can fight and you are saved,” he said.
Moyo reiterated on the need to adhere to lockdown regulations, proper use of masks, maintaining social distance and sanitising hands every time.
“People should stay indoors if there is no need to be moving around. Let us adhere to Covid-19 lockdown regulations as imposed by the government. This is for our own good,” he said.
He, however, blamed the spike in cases in Umguza and Nkayi on traders who travel from Bulawayo to buy farm produce and artisanal miners in the areas, while in Binga he attributed the increase to the fish industry.
He said the recently set up 5 Miles isolation centre in Hwange will open immediately despite not being fully equipped, following the rise in Covid-19 cases.
“We really have an urgent need to do so. After the meeting of the Covid-19 taskforce, it was resolved that the centre be opened right away,” he said.