The Sunday Mail
DURING 0the festive season, families and friends often meet to celebrate.
But, we are in unusual times.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than 4 000 people in the country, makes it impossible for us to go through our usual holiday routines. However, there are several ways to enjoy the special moment, which comes once a year, without putting our lives and those of loved ones at risk.
A good starting point would be for everyone eligible to get the Covid-19 jab.
Mr Itai Rusike, who is the executive director of Community Working Group on Health, said we must keep our guard up.
“Since the festive season is upon us, we really want to encourage people of Zimbabwe to continue observing and adhering to all Covid-19 protocols. As we host our friends and relatives, including visitors from the Diaspora, let us make sure we are following all guidelines,” he said.
“It is important that we encourage those relatives and friends who will be coming from outside the country to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19, especially those from high-risk areas.”
The Government has since introduced a 10-day quarantine period for returning residents and visitors at their own cost. The quarantine is done in facilities designated by the Government.
Everyone entering Zimbabwe must undergo a Covid-19 PCR test even when they produce a Covid-19-free certificate from elsewhere.
As a country, we have done well thus far to contain the virus, but more needs to be done as the fight is far from being won.
Many people often blow caution to the wind each time an opportunity for merrymaking is presented. However, this is more like shooting ourselves in the foot.
I am certain no one wishes to have the hard lockdowns introduced again. But, if we are reckless, this will be a reality.
The possibility of a fourth wave is high.
Responsible behaviour can, however, save us. To date, a 3,8 million have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
More people still need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
Vaccinations have been scientifically proven to be effective. Going forward, there will be plenty of time to party in the future.
For now, let us avoid unnecessary gatherings, parties or even traditional ceremonies.
“Information and awareness campaigns on Covid-19 have to be continuously availed. It is not only the duty of Government officials and health authorities to spread the information, we must also play our role at individual, family and community levels,” added Mr Rusike.
As it stands, very few people are still wearing their masks properly — covering the nose and mouth. It is now common to see people in public transport or shops without masks.
Bars and nightclubs have also not put in place measures to ensure that only vaccinated people access their premises.
This is worrying especially in light of the new Omicron variant that has since been detected in the region and other parts of the world.
Covid-19 is real and it is still with us. The guidelines set by World Health Organisation and Government stand and are the only answer to the health crisis that we currently face.
Remember, by getting vaccinated or being responsible, you have protected the next person.