African Union Centre for Disease Control has urged countries to start preparing for the new normal and adjust living with COVID-19 as the pandemic is not expected to end soon.
In a continental guidance report released last Sunday, AU CDC said Covid-19 was likely to be around for a long time, hence countries must start preparing for a new normal, arguing that sustained restrictions were detrimental to routine public health services, social and mental health as well as the economy.
“Given the likely duration of this epidemic, it is important to plan for easing measures in ways that allow the trajectory of the virus to be controlled,” reads part of the report.
AU CDC said when easing restrictions, member states should do so gradually, starting with most affected areas and monitored for any possible influx in new cases.
In response to the first cases of Covid-19 reported across the continent, many countries, including Zimbabwe, implemented large-scale public health and social measures rapidly.
These measures were meant to give countries room to upgrade preparedness with the ultimate goal of reducing transmission.
The National Covid-19 Coordinator in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Agnes Mahomva said while nothing had changed regarding current restrictions, law enforcers were also tightening their response after noticing negligence.
“There was a meeting, which noted that some sections of the society seemed to be relaxing as far as Covid-19 restrictions are concerned. It was as if the country had gone back to its old normal so I want to believe that this is part of intensifying enforcement of lockdown measures under Level 2.
“In terms of restrictions enunciated by President Mnangagwa, nothing has changed yet. We are still on Level 2,” said Dr Mahomva.
Mahomva added that should current measures fail to prevent further transmission of the virus in the country, the Government would consider a review.
Majority of infections are returning citizens, who are mandatorily required to be quarantined for 21 days.
There has been a worrying increase in the number of people who are fleeing from quarantine facilities dotted around the country before completion of the 21-day period and testing hence risking more infections from untraceable contacts.
Apart from that, there has been a disturbing laxity on the part of the public since scaling down of the lockdown to Level 2, which was extended indefinitely a fortnight ago by the President.
To Date, Zimbabwe has recorded 206 cases of Covid-19 with 29 recoveries, 170 active cases and four deaths.