Health officials worry as Covid-19 cases rise in Hwange

By Judith Sibanda

HWANGE town is battling to contain a surge of Covid-19 cases amid revelations that the mining town is yet to roll out its mass vaccination campaign.

The revelations were made by Hwange’s District Medical Officer Fungai Musinami who told CITE that the coal mining town’s spiralling cases have been fuelled by the slow vaccination campaign.

“The whole district has 615 cumulative cases and 87 active ones, of which a large number are derived from Hwange,” Musinami said. 

“Victoria Falls town has been steady but the reasons for that rise in Hwange could be because we have not vaccinated as many people as we did in Victoria Falls.”

To counter the challenge, Musinami said plans were underway to roll out a mass vaccination campaign similar to the one done in Victoria Falls in March. 

“We are planning to do mass vaccination once we get more vaccines to control these cases being experienced in the urban areas,” she said. 

“We have not done any scientific research as to why most of these are recorded there but it could be because we vaccinated or people are following Covid-19 rules and regulations, so I really can’t say anything tangible without scientific evidence.” 

On June 22, the Ministry of Health and Child Care advised the nation that the next priority areas for vaccination are the remaining border posts, especially Forbes, Chirundu and Kariba together with current hotspots, tobacco auction floors and people’s markets such as Renkini in Bulawayo, Mbare Musika in Harare and Sakubva Musika in Mutare as well as the Hwange area due to increasing cases.

However, Musinami said she could not say when that will be done as the whole district has run out of first doses of the Sinovac vaccines. 

As of Tuesday, Matabeleland North recorded 47 new cases with 296 active cases, 1485 recoveries and 20 deaths.  

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