Health experts have warned that if people continue with their reckless behaviour, the government will have no option but to extend the COVID-19 lockdown beyond 30 days.
According to acting Bulawayo provincial medical director Dr Welcome Mlilo, the goal of the national lockdown is simply to interrupt the spread of the virus and once this is achieved, the restrictions will no longer be necessary. He said:
Every Zimbabwean at an individual level has a role in the national covid-19 response. It’s all our individual duty to conduct ourselves, by how we live amongst the community, to take deliberate well-known actions that interrupt the transmission of the virus. Once this objective is met, rational reasoning says the lockdown will no longer be necessary.
Acting Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya warned that the current high numbers of coronavirus cases being recorded daily are just a tip of the iceberg. He said:
The record numbers are of people who are in communities meaning the virus is deep in communities and probably infected more people who have not been tested.
The festive season was just a terrible thing happening together with Covid-19. The worst is yet to come especially when people don’t respect the virus.
If the peoples’ attitude and behaviour pour fuel in this raging fire of the Covid-19, I foresee the restrictive measures being extended even further than this where only a very few people will be allowed to move out.
If the people behave very well the viral spread will slow down and then it will allow us to resume some of the activities again.