Whilst we were almost close to a Covid-free environment, another variant has popped up. The variant that was reported months ago to have contaminated India has reached Zimbabwe.
The variant from India was detected in Kwekwe. Kwekwe is one of the small cities in Zimbabwe close to Harare.
Vice President and Minister of Health Rtd. General Chiwenga announced a lockdown commencing effective immediately. Kwekwe, a city possessing a population of 100,000 people has been put on lockdown for 14 days starting on the 21st of May in a bid to contain the virus before it spreads.
“We quarantined positive cases and close contacts of those who had tested positive. There was also disinfection of supermarkets, Amaveni dumpsite, National test seed pavements and old Gokwe Road,” said VP Chiwenga – Source Chronicles
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the variant is three times dire to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The variant was firstly discovered in Uganda. Curfew to be observed from 7PM to 6AM and the following are the regulations to be followed:
– All public gatherings including church, weddings, public and private gatherings banned
– Business hours to run from 8AM to 5PM
– No visitors to all boarding schools and all day schools to observe strict Covid-19 protocols
– Funerals will be supervised by health personnel and should not gather more than 30 people
– Travellers through Kwekwe advised to spend little time as possible in Kwekwe during lockdown period.
The variant is referenced as the B. 1.617. It was initially identified in October and now found in 44 countries including the United States of America. The mutant has been nicknamed the ‘double mutant’. Other variants like these are B.1.1.7 in UK and B.1.351 in South Africa and P.1 from Brazil, all posses one or more mutants.
Scientists around the world are trying by all means to find ways to contain the virus. It is believed to be the one that skyrocketed cases in India and its neighbour, Nepal.
Therefore, this is an amber alert to every Zimbabwean to practice caution. Also, continue to wear masks always and observe social distancing.