Community Development Health

Citizens, Government Reluctant Towards Covid-19 Prevention: APA

Alliance for the People's Agenda

With COVID-19 cases and deaths surging, the Alliance for the People’s Agenda (APA) has called for discipline and shunning of the reckless attitude shown by the government and citizens.

APA noted that it has been a year since Covid-19 emerged into people’s collective conscience as a threat to humanity yet Zimbabwe remains precariously unprepared for a surge in cases despite adequate information and forewarning.

In a statement issued on Sunday, APA said the new lockdown regulations announced by the government on Saturday should help push back against the projected spread and save lives. Thus, all citizens ought to comply and do well to take the necessary steps for self-protection.

“When you protect yourself, you protect your family and fellow citizens. As we say at APA everything we do must be with fellow citizens and country in mind. We encourage you to take your responsibility and national duty seriously. We are living in grave times,” the statement reads.

Whatever circumstances are, APA said citizens should not use government, ministerial, and authorities’ failure and ineptitude to justify making choices that will haunt back with consequences on the nation at large.

“Empowered by hunger, angered by Zanu-PF and cabinet disregard, motivated by opposition figures revolutionary rhetoric, Zimbabweans have steadfastly refused to change their ways despite all the evidence and knowledge about Covid-19.

“At this point personal discipline is your best hope of surviving where the reckless attitude of the government and other citizens have set the whole nation ablaze. Do not for once think you are safe amongst family and friends. Keep your guard.”

After a year in which borders were closed most of the time, the festive season surge in Covid-19 in South Africa coincided with the surge in annual cross-border travel by a defiantly naive diaspora population and in the end, citizens are laying the blame at the government’s doorstep.

South Africa is the lifeblood of the Zimbabwean economy and millions of Zimbabweans are living in that country. A huge proportion of these is living there illegally for various reasons. Whatever their reasons, a lot of these people cross the Limpopo at will and avoid the designated border post to avoid documentation and Covid-19 screening.

South African authorities identified a new Covid-19 variant in November and it has been reported that the second wave of Covid-19 has already hit hard the country.

APA encouraged citizens to do the right things all the time so as to save lives and reminded them to remember that all Covid-19 hospitals are full at this moment as it stressed that many will die without getting any chance of treatment.

The organisation indicated that the same happened when Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe and many seemed to be reluctant despite adequate information and fore warning.

“The few half measures the unprepared government has undertaken is way inadequate and every citizen knows there is no treatment once they contract the virus.Yet, alarmingly, Zimbabweans appear to remain unfazed by that knowledge.

“Zimbabweans were seen trekking back home for the festive season struggle with the congested Beit Bridge border,and thousands more crossing the flooded Limpopo and the implications were clear.

“The super bug was coming home for Christmas.The first question,therefore, is why did the Zimbabwean authorities not foresee this or are we witnessing the same lackadaisical approach we saw to the imminent arrival of Cyclone Idai?”

When the first wave seemed to fizzle out, APA highlighted, citizens were seen completely disregarding WHO guidelines citing economic pressure as the justification.

Referring to Dr. Khupe’s positive test, the DJ Fantan show of shame, APA sadly pointed out that it is clear that authorities have lost control and also highlighted that it is clear that citizens feel Covid-19 is not a deadly threat despite the fact that in a week, 30 deaths and a thousand cases have been recorded.

“There was definitely some spreading at the MDC-T congress, at the Mbare and Bindura gatherings, and all other smaller documented and undocumented festive season gatherings. Anyone who was part of these events must self-isolate for 10 days if asymptomatic. At the slightest sign of symptoms please get the PCR or Rapid antigen test done.

“Given the little testing we do and the regional trends, it is patently clear we are grossly under-reporting.

“We will be hit and be hit hard because of sheer indifference, and a lack of foresight. Yet all hope is not lost. We have a sudden surge in numbers, and it is very likely we are dealing with the new variant identified in South Africa in November as well.”

Every one of us, said APA, must stay at home because lives depend on it. If that becomes impossible, in whatever task, the organisation stressed that people must wash their hands and wear a mask all the time. Even with all of these measures avoid touching the mouth, eyes, and nose.

The same advice, APA highlighted, should be heeded by anyone who has been in contact with any international travelers who could also have been in their window period when they tested for purposes of travel.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende