Covid-19 is still a menace

The world is being hammered left, right and centre by the notorious coronavirus. So many countries are in trouble at the moment, with Europe having a more serious second wave of the coronavirus.

health talk:with Dr Johannes Marisa

So far, the official mortality of Covid-19 is about 1 365 000 globally with more than 57 million people having been infected with the virus. It is alarming that the number of new infections is increasing by the day, with more than 600 000 cases being recorded daily.

This is a major increase of cases from the April/May 2020 era where there used to be about 40 000 cases per day. The sign is very simple: Covid-19 is worsening and is far from being over.

The United States is the worst affected country in the world with deaths of more than 258 000 followed by Brazil and India.

Africa has fared quite well with slightly above two million people being affected, representing around 3,6% of the infections in the world.

South Africa is the worst affected country in Africa with more than
757 000 cases.

Zimbabwe has recorded just around 9 100 cases so far with about 265 official deaths. We applaud the country’s efforts in combating the spread of the virus despite the limited resources.

The nation should be reminded that Covid-19 is still a menace and is more cunning than the days of gross fear where even supermarkets were very serious about temperature check on entering, when everyone saw it necessary to put on masks, when many moved around with hand sanitisers in their bags or cars.

Europe relaxed restrictions in July after noticing a decline in the number of cases, but it was to record a resurgence of cases in mid-October 2020 with increased mortality. Countries like Poland came into focus with high daily deaths. The second wave of the infection is really disastrous. We hope we will not be caught off-side in Zimbabwe if we are to have a second attack.

In order to keep our country safe in terms of Covid-19 infections, it is wise that people revert to public health measures as soon as possible before it is too late. We do not want a catastrophe in the near future.

The following measures should thus remain in place and the more we observe them, the earlier we eliminate disaster from among us. People should not forget the following:

lThat masks remain very important in combating the spread of the virus. Lately, people have been complacent especially in high-density suburbs to the extent that some do not even wear their masks for the entire week. This public health measure should be treated seriously if we are to remain afloat as a nation.

lSocial distancing has not been substituted by anything so it remains very important and should thus be observed. Gatherings that do not guarantee at least a distance of 2m should not be entertained as crowding can be a serious spreader of the deadly virus.

Government lifted restrictions on some gatherings like weddings and churches, but with limitations on the number of attendees who should be 100 or less.
This should be observed and breaching these guidelines will not be of benefit to anyone, but will be detrimental to our health as a nation. Remember, Covid-19 started with one person in the world who spread it to the next until now when the whole world is in a health quandary. Prevention is better than cure.

lHealth education is still very important as there are some people who have been made to believe that Covid-19 has gone away now. Mass media should continue playing its important role of educating the nation. Let everyone continue making noise about Covid-19 in order to remain up-to-date with events.

lHigh risk groups of people like diabetics, cardiac failure patients, asthmatics or the very old should remain vigilant. In case of suspicious infections, it is wise to visit medical centres or hospitals early so that early tests are undertaken and appropriate actions taken before the disease complicates. For diabetics, please keep your sugars under control every day.

lDo not forget to wash your hands with soap or sanitisers. This public health measure has been slowly sinking lately with very few people carrying sanitisers.

Hand-washing is ignored especially in rural areas. I noted hand-shaking at a recent funeral and it seemed there was not even water to wash hands thereafter. Covid-19 is still a menace.

Tell the next person that Covid-19 is still a menace. It is waiting to attack you if you do not remain vigilant. Let the fighting spirit remain. Together we will conquer against this virus!

lDr Johannes Marisa is a medical practitioner and public health practitioner who can be accessed on:

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