Covid-19: No sign of returning to normal life yet

Almost a year since the first Covid-19 case and death were recorded in Zimbabwe, disrupting the established ways through which people lived and interacted, there is still no sign of returning to normal life any time soon.

The country recorded the first coronavirus case and death in March last year throwing many Zimbabweans into a panic mode, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa immediately placing the country under intense 21-day lockdown as part of measures by the government to contain the spread of the novel disease.

The lockdown, which was extended for some months, had to be adjusted at regular intervals in order to save livelihoods.

Since March last year, the wearing of face masks, sanitisation, social distancing, temperature checks at public places, have since become the order of the day.

Restrictions on the number of people at gatherings such church services and funerals become the norm.

School children lost so much learning time in the past year as the government kept schools for the greater part of 2020 shut as part of measures to curb the spread of the disease.

While some people had called for the writing-off of the 2020 academic year considering the lost time, the government would not budge with learners yet to complete last year’s end of year examinations notwithstanding they did not learn much.

Many Zimbabweans had thought 2021 would mark the opening of a new chapter in the country with Covid-19 having been adequately dealt with but that was not to be.

The festive season, which saw Covid-19 cases and deaths spiralling, forced the government to lockdown the country for 30 days, shattering hopes of a better New Year for many.

The country has as of January 13 recorded 24 256 cases and 589 deaths.

What is aggravating the situation is the increase in daily infections and deaths this year compared to 2019.

Taking for example on January 12, 820 new infections and 21 deaths were recorded while on 13 January the number of new cases went up to 942 while that of deaths also increased to 38.

With what is currently obtaining, there are no signs yet of returning to normal life.

Health experts have even predicted an indefinite extension of the current lockdown.

The government and health experts have encouraged citizens to stick to the Covid-19 prevention measures until such a time the pandemic is brought under control.

Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, Wednesday said the government was heightening awareness campaigns to educate the nation on the dangers of the deadly pandemic.

He said there was a worrying trend of non-compliance by some who defy containment measures put in place.

“What is worrying is that within a week, 9 993 people were arrested for not wearing masks and this points to negligence by some members of the society who are not taking the virus seriously and this calls for behaviour change.”

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