GOVERNMENT yesterday called for more vigilance amid rising cases of COVID-19, with health experts expressing concern over government priorities after it spurned a single dose vaccine manufactured by United States pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, at a time when the Midlands city of Kwekwe has recorded more cases of the Indian variant .
In a post-Cabinet briefifing, Information minister Monica Mutsvanga said citizens should continue to observe the COVID-19 stipulated guidelines as the country was not out of the woods.
“Under case management, the nation is advised that the Health ministry continues to work tirelessly in managing cases of COVID-19 detected in different parts of the country, including in colleges and schools,” she said.
Mutsvangwa said government had also approved the extension of the Kwekwe lockdown by another two to contain the Indian strain of the disease recorded in the Midlands city last month. “Cabinet has approved that the lockdown in Kwekwe be extended by a further two weeks. This comes in the wake of a surge in positive cases in the city. The Indian variant has been detected in some of the new cases,” Mutsvangwa said.
On Monday, 27 people, including children and members of staff at Mary Ward Children’s home in Kwekwe tested positive to COVID-19. The country also recorded five coronavirus-related deaths on the same day, bringing the total of cumulative infections to 39 238 and 1 611 deaths.
Last month, Bondolfi Teachers’ College in Masvingo also recorded 94 cases of COVID-19.
Citizen Health Watch executive director Fungisai Dube said Zimbabweans were worried about the shortage of vaccines.
“We are concerned that Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines are running short, which will leave millions of people exposed to the virus,” Dube said.