Zimbabwe fortunate to have mild Covid-19 strain

By Almot Maqolo

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Zimbabwe is fortunate that the strain of coronavirus that it has is not severe otherwise it would be witnessing massive deaths as its health system cannot cope. With doctors and nurses on strike at a time when infections are escalating, the country could be witnessing massive deaths at the rate that occurred in countries such as Italy and Spain when the disease first broke out.

With the health infrastructure in shambles and the cost of accessing private health care beyond the reach of the majority, the situation in the country could have been untenable by now. Zimbabwe has so far recorded 4 990 Covid-19 cases and 128 deaths since the disease first broke out in March this year.

National Covid-19 coordinator in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Agnes Mahomva recently admitted that the strain of the virus which the country was having was mild and did not always kill. Dr Mahomva told the national broadcaster that the strain of Covid-19 the country was having did not necessitate people being admitted in hospital as they could recover from home.

She advised citizens to take the usual medicines for Covid-19 like symptoms such as paracetamol for the fever, flumel for flu and cough remedies. Commentators say this could explain the low infectious and deaths when the disease first broke out when the country stayed for long with few infections and deaths.

Initially Covid-19 cases were being reported in affluent suburbs where those affected turned out to have had a history of traveling, particularly to countries where the disease was raging. Cases began to spike when the country started receiving it’s citizens who were returning home from across the world, particularly the UK, the US and neighboring South Africa and Botswana.

Recently locally transmitted cases have overtaken imported ones, fueling speculation that citizens were harboring relatives who would have returned home illegally. Some citizens have said they suspected that they could have suffered from Covid-19 without knowing it after suffering from unknown ailments and recovering at home. Many others are dying at home and postmortem results have shown that it was Covid-19.

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