Sunday 31 May 2020


There is no need for Zimbawbwe to panic over the continued spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases but citizens must continue observing the basic hygiene practices and social distancing as recommended by public health experts, the World Health Organisation has said.

Zimbabwe’s confirmed cases had jumped to 174 by Saturday after 14 more people tested positive, to conclude a week that saw the cumulative total of patients rising by more than 100 and most of the new cases were of returnees from either South Africa or Botswana who are at the different quarantine centres.

WHO country representative Dr Alex Gasasira said on Friday that the surge in confirmed cases called for enhanced responses towards combating Covid-19.

“There is no need to panic. What we would say is that there is need for enhanced vigilance, enhanced compliance with the prevention measures that the Ministry of Health and Child Care and its partners have been sharing with the public,” said Dr Gasasira. 

He said following the spike in cases, particularly from quarantine facilities, WHO was sure that Government had started contact tracing and isolating those that tested positive to prevent further spread within the facilities and beyond.

Zimbabweans needed to comply with guidance given by public health experts as opposed to what can now be seen, especially in high density areas, where people have started congregating in large numbers, without face masks and not observing the required social distancing.

Said Dr Gasasira: “Every individual must continue to have the highest level of hand hygiene, to keep physical distance from others, to wear a mask whenever one is going to a public place, to look after that mask properly, and to ensure that when you are sick or someone close to you is sick, they report for proper assessment.

“This is what is supposed to be done and that is what we would highly recommend.” 

People with relatives coming in from other countries must also tell their relatives of the need to go into quarantine, be screened and get tested for Covid-19 before joining the rest of the family so that their families and the returning residents remain safe.

Government has warned the country that there may well be more patients as more return home, with a majority of them coming from countries that have recorded high numbers of confirmed cases. Herald


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