Health experts have warned that it’s just a matter of time before Zimbabwe experiences a deadly coronavirus third wave following Monday’s relaxation of lockdown restrictions.
The approaching winter, the emergence of new variants of the disease, and the improper wearing of face masks and zero social distancing in public spaces by members of the public are perfect conditions for another devastating COVID-19 wave.
Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive Solwayo Ngwenya warned in a tweet that the third wave is brewing. He wrote:
The third wave is loading, all the ingredients needed for it are being made, new variants, relaxing populations and the winter is approaching.
My predictions are that the third wave will appear suddenly, in a massive form and kill many people, especially in Africa.
In response to those who argue that people need to be out and about in order to fend for their families, Ngwenya said it is better to be hungry alive than to die on a full stomach. He said:
It will be like adding fuel to a raging fire. Zupco buses will be overcrowded. That is a recipe for disaster.
I saw many informal traders not practising social distancing and others were not wearing masks properly. That is a bad brew and the third wave of COVID-19 is loading. We are brewing it.
With winter approaching, this will escalate. Vaccines do not stop the infection; they just boost your immunity. The virus is going to find you and infect people. Some will die.
So you are better off being poor and hungry and alive, than being buried with a full stomach six feet under, permanently and prematurely.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said members of the public should voluntarily comply with appropriate public health measures such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, sanitisation, handwashing, avoiding crowds and social distancing.
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa called for more vigilance, saying the coronavirus still poses a present danger to the nation.