Doctors warn against COVID-19 complacency

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Doctors warn against COVID-19 complacency

THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) on Tuesday said Zimbabwe is getting reluctant and ignorant on following safety measures and protective interventions for COVID-19 despite threats of a second wave.

ZADHR said it noted with great concern the general disregard of following the laid down social distancing and protective interventions for COVID-19 in most parts of the country.

In a statement, ZADHR warned government as well as health experts to realign their response strategies in consideration of the fresh challenges posed by the second wave.

“Government must work closely with health promotion experts to disseminate messages to combat pandemic fatigue through highlighting the existential threats posed by COVID 19,” read the statement.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has persistently warned against this complacency, which it terms pandemic complacency and advises for the continued and correct use of facemasks, social distancing strategies and continued screening and surveillance in public spaces,” the statements added.

ZADHR also said policy makers, the citizenry and health sector needed to urgently realign their response strategies in view of these new challenges, incorporating lessons learnt from the initial response to COVID-19.

The association encouraged government and responsible health personnels to continue enforcing social distancing and surveillance in public places as laid down by WHO.

Zimbabwe has reportedly witnessed a rise in COVID-19 infections in the past few weeks, with most cases being reported as locally transmitted.

Recent data is pointing to widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

Meanwhile, ZADHR that the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leadership reportedly asserted that secrecy, fear and mistrust are also complicating the true assessment of the extent of COVID-19 in schools.

The doctors association urged government to conduct urgent tests, upscaled by the second wave of the pandemic.

“As ZADHR, we call for an urgent review of the country’s response to COVID-19: Testing rates must be urgently upscaled and made proportionate to the threat posed by the second wave of COVID-19 and intensive care capacity for handling complicated cases assessed and where possible increased.

Further, ZADHR proposed that government roll out a targeted vaccination campaign which initially prioritises high risk groups and the vulnerable, including a new policy thrust that enhances safety and protection of groups at higher risk of mortality and morbidity from COVID-19 should be considered.

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