Editorial Comment

Let’s play our part in Covid-19 battle

WITH the country now in the midst of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the fourth wave of the deadly pandemic, citizens must be concerned about whether or not we will come out of it unscathed.

It is trite that previous Covid-19 waves have left a trail of destruction globally and there is reason for humanity to be worried.

But the good news is that both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of Zimbabwe have called for calm.

However, it should be emphasised that simply not panicking and doing nothing to save ourselves from the jaws of death would be foolish bravado.

While the government says it now has the experience to handle Covid-19 that can only work if citizens also complement by showing signs that as a people we too have learnt lessons from the past.

It therefore means we must always be vigilant regarding following prevention measures in place and more importantly getting vaccinated.

That is the surest way of ensuring that few or no lives are lost.

A WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan made the point on Friday last week that the situation now was very different to a year ago with the Omicron now prevalent in close to 40 countries.

Of most significance is the revelation from preliminary findings that the variant is “highly transmissible”, and that “it could possibly become the dominant strain worldwide — although this is hard to predict” at least according to Swaminathan.

“How worried should we be? We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic, because we’re in a different situation to a year ago,” she said.

WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan meanwhile said the world currently had “highly effective vaccines” against Covid-19, and the focus should be on distributing them more widely.

National Covid-19 coordinator in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office, Agnes Mahomva has also made an appeal to citizens to play their part in ensuring the new variant is nipped in the bud.

She said the best solution for the country to navigate its way out of the potential catastrophe was to ensure that all citizens get vaccinated and that herd immunity is reached.

“The biggest message is that we must all get vaccinated. It is the action of individuals that is going to save us as a country. The public must also jump and strengthen what we do and that includes staying away from crowds, masking, sanitising, you name it.

“There is no need to put in place measures that destroy everything we have achieved so far.”