Chief Coordinator National Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Dr Agnes Mahomva, has said although it is too early to claim victory, Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 cases seem to be stabilising, with very low levels of community infection.
She, however, stressed that people must not be complacent as the coming few weeks would be defining.
Dr Mahomva made the remarks at the Zimbabwe National Defence University where she was delivering a lecture on Public Health and National Security yesterday.
She said measures to arrest the spike in Covid-19 cases by using lockdowns had been largely effective.
“Ministry of Health and Child Care has been working with a group of scientists from the University of Zimbabwe doing mathematical modelling and projections,” said Dr Mahomva.
“When we started, they were looking at other countries and the projections were high, but as we are moving, their forecasts now have lower figures,” said Dr Mahomva.
Zimbabwe has seen a rise in cases, most being attributed to returning nationals tested in quarantine after arrival.
“The numbers are going up, but there is no need to panic,” said Dr Mahomva.
“We knew the numbers were going to rise, the question was when and how. We think at the moment, things are stabilising, but with these kind of things you need a few weeks before you can make a conclusion because the numbers may begin rising again.”
Dr Mahomva said public health and social measures like lockdowns and mask wearing regulations were meant to protect the most vulnerable members of society.
Zimbabwe has been under lockdown since the end of March, with an ever growing number of exemptions, but the actual lockdown has now been declared to be indefinite, leaving the Government with the legal powers to adjust levels and adjust levels of exemption.
Dr Mahomva addressed concerns that Covid-19 may be incubating in communities far from the authorities’ radar due to lack of adequate testing.
“We are not having those large numbers in communities,” she said.
“One might say we are not testing communities so how can we be sure, but comparing mortality rates from last year, the figures show that there is nothing unusual.
“We cannot be missing anything. Of course, there may be a few cases here and there we may fail to detect, but there is nothing unusual in our communities.”
Dr Mahomva emphasised the need to ensure Covid-19 messaging was engaging and inspiring behaviour change.