Govt explains localised lockdowns

LOCALISED Covid-19 lockdowns are a management tool aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic outside specific areas while efforts to address the challenge are also directed to the affected places, Government has said.

Authorities restricted people’s movement in Kwekwe City and surrounding areas by placing the district under a localised lockdown as well as isolation of suspected cases, among other measures to control the spread of variant first detected in India.

Bondolf Teachers’ College in Masvingo Province was also placed under localised lockdown last Friday after a spike in infections at the institution.

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said people should not panic when a localised lockdown has been enforced.

“Localised lockdown is a management tool meant to control the geographical spread of viruses and there is therefore, no reason for people to panic. If the virus is detected, the best way is to contain it in that particular area without risking a spike in infections. That is why people’s movements are being restricted in those areas so as to minimise the spread of the virus into other districts,” he said.

Dr Mangwiro said there was no evidence of “another wave coming”.

“It is easy to say a third wave is coming and then we enforce another restrictive national lockdown but this comes with serious economic consequences and a huge effect on peoples’ livelihoods.

“So what we are doing now is to continue to appeal to our people to strictly adhere to all Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) mitigatory measures,” he said.

Government still wants citizens to avoid unnecessary gatherings, masking up, sanitising hands and taking up the vaccine when an opportunity is availed through the national vaccination rollout programme.

At the moment, the vaccine is seen as the biggest hope of beating the pandemic, at least for now.

Zimbabwe has defied odds to mount an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic and managed to minimise the effects of the disease on its citizenry.

An expert in the Ministry of Health, who is part of a team that advises Government on Covid-19, Dr Raiva Simbi, said the localised lockdowns are working.

“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.

This is a confirmation that the localised lockdowns are working,” said Dr Simbi.

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