A local health expert has warned that Zimbabwe is already in the throes of the third wave of COVID-19 as evidenced by the surge in new infections in the past few weeks.
Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive Solwayo Ngwenya said the situation could easily overwhelm the country’s public health delivery system unless the public adheres to WHO guidelines. He said:
The third wave is unfortunately here and is building up faster than we can imagine.
While it may seem like it is under control, the virus is spreading at an alarming rate in communities that have become complacent and no longer adhere to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
Daily coronavirus updates by the Ministry of Health and Child Care indicate that new infections averaged about 22 cases in late March but the figure has increased to 79 cases and with the cases continuing to rise.
Schools have contributed a huge proportion of the new cases with some recording more than 100 cases each and Ngwenya believes the situation will spiral out of control. He said:
The situation in schools is difficult. If we wait for that month when schools close, the infection and viral spread will be out of control.
If indeed there are infections, they should close down the schools. However, the major worry is that the students will take the virus into the community.
It is not achievable to try and contain the situation within schools. Schools are always going to be super spreaders, the government was warned.
They will contribute a lot to the third wave. We will not be able to cope with the massive health emergency of this pandemic.
As of 20 April 2021, Zimbabwe had recorded 37 875 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 35 058 recoveries and 1 554 deaths.