Zimbabwe contains Covid-19 Indian variant
The deadly Covid-19 Indian variant that was detected in Kwekwe is being contained with no new cases recorded since confirmation of the first case last week.
Government activated its health emergency systems to diffuse the deadly — B.1. 617 — first detected in India after genomic sequencing tests revealed that it is now in Zimbabwe.
Part of the measures put in place by the Government was a localised lockdown for Kwekwe district as well as isolation of suspected cases among other things.
This particular variant has presented the world with a huge test in what had appeared to be a virus in check and India has so far been the hardest hit.
Zimbabwe had up to now defied odds with a thorough and effective response to the pandemic, and the latest variant is now under control.
An expert in the Ministry of Health and Child Care who is part of the advisory team that advises Government on Covid-19, Dr Raiva Simbi urged calm as the variant is being contained.
“There is no need to panic, people should adhere to the prescribed Covid-19 protocols and we will win this war,” he said.
“Like what the Vice President (Dr Constantino Chiwenga) said, we now have the capacity for genomic sequencing that is to detect which particular variants are in circulation in the country.
“The B.1. 617 variant widely known as the Indian variant is under control in Zimbabwe, we are still carrying out some samples but available results show that we have managed to control the spread,” said Dr Simbi.
“Like I said the evidence we have is that the situation is under control because we do not have any new cases, the positivity rate has not increased.
“The fear was that the variant will spread in the country, but the quick response by the Government to restrict movements in the area the virus was detected has helped in controlling the geographical spread of the virus.
“But our advice remains that people should continue adhering to the prescribed protocols to avoid a spike in infections,” he said.
Dr Simbi implored those who have not yet been vaccinated to be immunised and boost their chances of beating the virus if infected. He also advised those who have been vaccinated not to throw caution to the wind.
VP and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Chiwenga is on record encouraging people to be vaccinated as well as not to lose their guard.
In his address at the ongoing 74th World Health Assembly, VP Chiwenga said health promotions and the activation of systems to confront Covid-19 helped the country to respond to the pandemic.
The country’s ability to respond to the pandemic has received international rave reviews with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China — where the virus was first detected — all commending the Government’s efforts.