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– Chronicle

He said adherence to prevention measures is what will save communities from contracting the deadly variant.

“We are not panicking because the means of transmission and prevention are still the same hence there is need for us to continue adhering to what we have been advised to be safe. The variant may not be the same but prevention methods are still the same just like the other variants that we have experienced in the past,”

said Dr Sibanda.

“As a city we will continue warning residents against defying WHO guidelines and we will sanitise our public spaces when necessary, with the understanding that we are only safe if we wear masks, wash hands and sanitise.”

Renowned health expert Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the presence of the Indian variant is a game changer for Zimbabweans who for the longest time have defied Government recommendations.

He said even those who have been vaccinated are equally at risk hence the need to practice social distancing, wear masks and wash hands.

“We are really facing a critical moment as a country as the variant has finally made its way into Zimbabwe.

“It is a double mutated variant of the original variant found in China in 2019 and unfortunately this one is more deadly and infectious,”

said Prof Ngwenya.

“Now it is dangerous because it has been allowed to change its structure and its highly transmissible which means we all have to unite as a country and ensure it does not spread.”

Prof Ngwenya said Zimbabweans must change their ways now to escape scenes of death and pandemonium which are all over India now.

He also called on the Government to consider enforcing strict measures on super spreaders like funerals, schools, parties and churches.

“We should never allow ourselves to get there as we will be overwhelmed once this variant strikes in our communities. We have to change how we have been treating Covid-19. It’s real and can be deadly if we continue being complacent,”

he said.

Prof Ngwenya bemoaned the fact that unlike in the past months people were no longer wearing masks.

“People are no longer wearing masks and that is dangerous and a fertile ground for the variant to spread. This variant came at a wrong time because we have super spreader events, it’s winter and we have defiant members of the public who still go against the Government oblivious of the fact that they may be wiped out within a few days,”

he warned.

“Our Government should watch and then consider shutting down the country if people continue defying the recommended guidelines.”

In a statement yesterday, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe called on members of the public to desist from defying measures to stop the spread which remains a threat for all.

“Our monitoring reports continue to indicate that communities continuously disregard the use of masks and other preventative measures.

This has been increased in markets, economic activity areas and public transport transit points where citizens continue to move around without observing physical distancing, improperly wearing masks, with noses exposed and, in some instances, outrightly wearing masks on their chins,”

read the statement.

The coalition urged communities to adhere to proper use of masks and overcome “Covid-19 fatigue” as the cold season approaches and ensure strict compliance with the public health guidelines. — @thamamoe.

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