More than 70 million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus with official deaths being over 1,58 million people.
health talk:with Dr Johannes Marisa
Things are really bad for the United States of America where about 300 000 people have lost their lives. Daily, more than
200 000 new infections are being recorded, making the US the worst affected country in the world.
As of Wednesday, the overall deaths due to coronavirus in Africa reached about 55 000 with South Africa having the highest number of casualties. With about 23 000 deaths, the country accounted for roughly 41,1% of the total deaths in Africa.
Egypt is the second most affected with close to 7 000 deaths, which is about 12,4% of the overall deaths in Africa. Zimbabwe has so far recorded about 11 100 cases with 305 deaths.
With South Africa now starting to record over 6 000 cases daily, this can point to the emergence of the second wave in the country. On December 9, South Africa recorded a positivity rate of 18%, a frighteningly high figure that can signal worse things ahead. I have started to note an increasing number of patients with clinical symptoms and signs of Covid-19 in the last two weeks.
Naturally, year end can be very dangerous if we are talking about Covid-19 as a highly transmissible virus. It therefore calls for extra discipline if our country is to be on the safer side of the river. The following factors should be borne in mind as we approach the festive seasons:
lThere will be massive travelling especially from neighbouring South Africa where the pandemic is currently wreaking havoc. There are more than two million Zimbabweans who stay in South Africa and their coming to Zimbabwe during the holidays may be disastrous if proper screening is not going to be done. Buses will be full, mishikashika will be operating at maximum with passengers being packed like sardines.
lThe arrival of relatives who are foreign-based can be a tempting chance to enjoy with celebrations and parties being held in honour of such visitors. It is very rare for a drunken person to observe public health issues even in public places. Those who are in the rural areas rarely observe public health measures to contain the virus.
lThere will be increased defiance of the regulations by many who do not appreciate the importance of restrictions. It is unfortunate that some people think that the regulations are for the central government to fix citizens. That is not the truth.
In view of the above factors, it is imperative that the following be done in order to keep Covid-19 under control:
lBorder controls should be executed with tests of suspected cases being done as fast as possible. Clinical diagnosis of patients should be expedited if we are to get early cases. All illegal points of entry should be sealed so that all the travellers can at least go through some checkpoints.
lPeople should just realise that Covid-19 is a serious disease that continues to torment the entire world. The big economic giants like the US, Italy, Russia and Germany are all in a quandary from this virus. Do not trust any contact that you come across, hence the observance of public health measures like social distancing and wearing of masks which have largely contributed to the containment and mitigation against the virus.
lEarly presentation to health institutions should be done rather than waiting for complications. There is generally denial by many patients that they may have Covid-19 and this has often delayed treatment. Covid-19 is for everyone, but diabetes mellitus has been one of the most unfortunate conditions with about 20% of all deaths in Africa being traced to diabetes. Make sure your sugars are well controlled.
lLaw enforcement agents should continue playing the critical roles of law and order. Those who are found on the wrong side of the law should answer.
Lately, so many pirate taxis are illegally on the road, many people are no longer wearing masks even in public places while some gatherings have been illegally going on against the laid-down restriction guidelines.
Be alert everyone. The calamity is upon us! Do not forget to pray for our beautiful nation. Our God is always on our side.
lDr Johannes Marisa is a medical practitioner and public health practitioner who can be accessed on: firstname.lastname@example.org