Members of the public have been warned against getting complacent amid the fourth COVID-19 wave triggered by the Omnicron variant of the coronavirus.
This follows reports suggesting that Omicron is milder than the Delta variant that pushed up infections and deaths in mid-2021 during the COVID-19 third wave.
However, a 14-day analysis of the period starting from 20 December 2021 to 2 January this year showed that more cases are being recorded compared to the same period when the second wave hit the country.
From 20 December 2021 to 2 January, 245 COVID-19 deaths were recorded compared to 73 recorded during the same period in 2020.
The daily average of recorded cases is at 1 580 to give a total of 22 121 recorded cases in two weeks so far.
However, during the same period last year, the daily average of recorded cases was 167, which resulted in 2 346 cases over the same period during the 2020 festive season.
The Chief Coordinator of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva, implored the public to remain vigilant and to get vaccinated. She said:
The view that the fourth wave where the Omicron variant is dominating most of our cases is not bad is not a true reflection of what is on the ground because indeed, we are seeing deaths.
Each time we record a death we are saddened and we just have to put out a message of warning.
We cannot relax or be complacent and we want to continue pushing the message so that our communities remain vigilant.
It is not over until it is over, there is always a danger of a sudden upsurge in deaths and new cases hence let’s not tire doing what we know is right especially getting vaccinated, we know that it saves lives.
She also revealed that by the end of 2021 Zimbabwe had 33 per cent of the targeted population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.