The spiralling deaths and new Covid-19 infections must move the authorities to reassess Zimbabwe’s measures to fight the pandemic to match the new realities.
Zimbabwe, like many other countries on the continent, is battling a more vicious wave of Covid-19 driven by the more transmissible Delta variant.
On Friday, the country had 102 people dying of Covid-19, one of the highest recorded death tolls since the pandemic began early last year.
There were 2 296 cases recorded on the day and that pushed the country’s caseload to 81 168. At least 2 520 Zimbabweans had lost their lives due to the disease as of Friday.
July has been one of the deadliest months since Covid-19 reached these shores.
The government has been taking piecemeal measures in response to the third wave such as delaying the re-opening of schools and banning inter-city travel.
Enforcement of the measures also leaves a lot to be desired especially with the selective application of the law.
In recent days the media has been awash with reports of a religious sect that has been holding its annual meetings in Manicaland in complete disregard of regulations banning gatherings.
Police professed ignorance about the Marange gathering when they were asked what they were doing about it.
The religious sect in question is a known source of votes for the ruling Zanu PF during national elections and this could explain the preferential treatment.
Former president Robert Mugabe was a regular feature at the sect’s annual gatherings and his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also been there.
Zimbabweans have repeatedly raised questions about Zanu PF meetings that are allowed to go ahead despite the ban on gatherings.
The ruling party is obviously breaking the law with an eye on forthcoming by-elections to fill parliamentary and local government vacancies, but can victory be pursued at the expense of people’s lives?
Mnangagwa’s government seems to be prioritising the economy in its response to the third wave and this could be very costly to the country in the long run.
Health facilities are already overwhelmed with the rising number of hospitalisations and concrete steps must be taken to reverse the trend.
Police must start to enforce the regulations without fear or favour if we are to win the war against Covid-19.
Zimbabweans also have a duty to protect themselves against infection by adhering to World Health Organisation regulations to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.