I have written this letter to propose an idea that will effectively assist in curbing the spread of the deadly Covid-19, which is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. There is need for an urgent national action plan to be implemented by the government so as to save humanity from the current pandemic.
The Covid-19 virus is spread primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the mouth or nose when an infected person talks, sings, coughs or sneezes.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Moderna mRNA vaccine, the Russian vaccine (Sputnik V), the Chinese vaccine (CoronaVac) or Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, will not be readily available to developing economies such as Zimbabwe. The extreme high global demand, shipping constraints, and the inherent instability of these vaccines if they are not stored in super-cold temperatures that range between -70 Celsius and -20 Celsius, are glaring facts that Zimbabwe needs an alternative and effective national plan to curb the widespread Covid-19-related deaths that have engulfed the country. It cannot be business as usual or what other countries are doing. We need our own strategy as a country.
It is, therefore, important that everyone practices the following three simple actions:
- Mandatory wearing of a facemask should be a normal part of being around other people;
- Maintain at least a 2-metre distance between yourself and others (maintain an even greater distance when indoors; the further away, the better); and
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or wash them with soap and water.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces alone will not be able to enforce the above three simple actions. The 15 million Zimbabweans should all be designated as enforcement agents of these simple health protocols. The government should declare that every Zimbabwean is compelled to ensure that the next person is wearing a face mask and is maintaining a respectable distance from others. In order to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, there is need for a cultural revolution, and the government has the duty to lead in this aspect.
Dr Tayengwa Chitauro (DBA)
Mobile no. 0773552624