Behavioral Change Hampering COVID-19 Awareness: Govt

The government has complained over citizens’ resistance to observe COVID-19 preventive measures saying this could pose a serious threat to the country in the wake of the anticipated second wave.

This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) in its epidemiological update revealed that this week alone over 3,3 million new cases have been reported globally.

With the country recording a cumulative total of 8 410 Covid-19 cases as of yesterday, including 246 deaths, the Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa warned of a devastating recurrence of the deadly virus.

“We have experienced slow acceptance of the need for behavioral change by citizens, we have seen Zimbabweans failing to properly put on their masks, large gatherings at funerals, and even the emergence of shebeens,” Mutsvangwa said.

Mutsvangwa said the government is having a hard time over citizens’ resistance to observe to preventive measures against coronavirus, including putting on face masks, amid reports the country is set to be hit by a second wave of the pandemic.

“Zimbabwe has some of the lowest infection numbers in the region and this is partly due to the Covid-19 education and information drive by the subcommittee.

Mutsvangwa said the COVID-19 subcommittee is doing its best to ensure that the message on the need for citizens to protect themselves and prevent the spread of Covid-19 reaches out to every corner.

Meanwhile, Chief Coordinator of the COVID-19 National Taskforce, Agnes Mahomva said the country may be forced into implementing more strict measures, possibly another lockdown, if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

“Whether directly or indirectly as a result of these new relaxations, the infection rate has started to go up. While the growth may be marginal at this stage, it has the potential to spike upwards in a manner which might not be foreseen,” Mahomva said.

“It may be that more enforcement of existing measures is required as well, but certainly should there be a sudden spike like that experienced around July 2020, then there might be need for more stringent measures such as those which are being re-introduced in Europe and the Americas,” she added.

Last week, experts said the world was staring at a second wave of Covid-19 that could kill thousands in the country if regulations on social distancing and proper masking up were not observed.

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