Zimbabwean virologist, Dr Sikhulile Moyo, has urged people to continue adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures as the respiratory disease has not been eliminated amid the emergence of new variants in some parts of the world.
Dr Moyo gained world recognition after being credited together with Tulio de Oliviera with the discovery of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
He is the Research Laboratory Director at the Botswana Havard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP).
Speaking to CITE during his visit to the country, Dr Moyo warned that the world had not eliminated Covid-19 and it was now up to individuals to protect themselves.
“We have not eliminated Covid-19, it is still around us, and it is growing. What we have done is we have relieved ourselves of the burden of death and hospital collapse. How long will it last? We need to be careful, if we roll back too quickly, we may be caught napping when we get another wave of the virus,” he said.
“You see what is happening in China and other parts of Europe that they are beginning to get so much pressure in their hospitals because of these new variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 and others”.
A fresh Covid-19 wave has hit China with hospitals filling up. During a news conference a week ago, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said he is “very concerned over the evolving situation in China”.
Dr Moyo also warned that if people let their guard down during the holidays, they may face a severe backlash.
With most countries removing or relaxing Covid-19 restrictions, Dr Moyo said there was a need to ensure that people get vaccinated.
“We need to make sure that people complete their doses those who have not finished and the boosters. If we do that, we are reducing the chances of returning to those Delta days but if we don’t then that is where the challenge may be,” said Dr Moyo.
He also urged those who present with Covid-19 symptoms to seek medical attention.
“I know people like treating themselves, it may not just be flu but Covid with a detection escape because variants are busy escaping detection,” said Dr Moyo.