REVELATIONS that there is a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country are a cause of great concern.
Clearly, old habits die hard. Citizens no longer observe Covid-19 protocols in communities. Masking up, social distancing and sanitisation have been abandoned in most communities with bars, night clubs, churches and other social gatherings overcrowded.
Authorities are no longer strictly enforcing the protocols and especially the curfew is literally no longer in place.
The lackadaisical attitude among citizens may soon prove deadly. There is real danger of more infections and fatalities if citizens continue to be reckless. There is no need to lose guard.
The complacency by citizens would leave authorities with no option besides re-introducing a hard lockdown, which will have serious ramifications to economic revival and quality of life of the citizens.
We have travelled this road before and we know it’s rough terrain. Behavioural change will save us from the economic challenges that some have with a hard lockdown.
What is also worrying about the surge in infections is that the coronavirus is affecting school children — meaning the spread can be very rapid.
From an average of between 100 and 700 fresh infections in the last week, 60 percent of them were attributed to school children
According to the country’s chief Covid-19 response coordinator in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office, Agnes Mahomva, the pattern of reported cases showed that Covid-19 tests were currently mainly focused on schools than on communities — which she said were the main sources of the infections.
“The Omicron variant is once again spreading very fast in the communities. In the numbers that we are seeing, the majority have either no symptoms or the symptoms are mild.
“We have continued to let the public know through the post-Cabinet briefings every single week that if you are looking at the numbers that are recorded in schools, a large percentage — about 60 percent — are from day scholars, rather than boarding students.
“This is basically a clear indication that the new cases are largely coming from the communities,” Mahomva said.
“We thus continue to have cases in the communities. The only difference is that those children who go to school are religiously tested, as our surveillance system in schools is very strong and tight.
“We are saying that the numbers we are seeing are telling us that there are a lot of cases in communities.”
What the government needs now is to ramp up testing in communities to find out exactly the extent of the spread of Covid-19 and properly prescribe solutions to curb the disease.
But the best solution is behavioural change among citizens. We should not lose guard!