ZAMBIA is now preparing for the daunting threat of the third wave of Covid-19 with a good number of people having also been re-infected.
With the Minister of health disclosing that cases of health facility admissions have remained stagnant but that the severity of disease remains high we must remain alive to the fact that coronavirus is deadly.
Just when, we thought we were getting a handle of the Covid-19, then comes this depressing information that a third wave is on its way and the virus is still mutating into more fatal strains.
Over 4.3 million confirmed Covid-19 cases have been recorded on the African continent – with more than 3.8 million recoveries & 114,000 deaths cumulatively.
Despite the Minister of Health Jonas Chanda disclosing a positivity rate of below 5 percent for the past two weeks as the COVID pandemic has continued to upset the world, with countries in Asia and Europe continuing to contribute the largest numbers of daily new Covid-19 cases, there is still cause for concern.
Last week Brazil announced that 4,000 people had succumbed to the virus in a single day.
The Zambian government has been fortunate to have set up a robust multi-sectoral system to monitor and manage Covid-19 but it has come at great cost.
The amount of resources that go into treating severe cases of Covid-19 plus the extended recovery period means that many other wise productive individuals still face the possibility of losing their lives.
President Lungu says the Covid -19 pandemic and Climate Change have put pressure on African Governments’ budgets through unplanned expenditures.
The sentiment swere shared during the Africa Covid -19 Climate Emergency and the Importance of Scaling-Up Climate Change Adaptation – through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme -AAAP in a virtual meeting.
Cabinet Office just recently announced the resumption of full day work hours with a plan to monitor infection rates over a two week period.
It is not a doubt that Covid-19 infections will happen but the hope is, the severity of the illness will be manageable.
Our hard working front liners who are constantly exposed may also suffer unfortunate stints on hospital beds have been pushed to the brink having to cope with the sudden deterioration then demise of patients.
Zambia has also witness the unfortunate incidences of care givers becoming the patient.
The novel coronavirus is indeed a unique disease.
Immunologists had expected that if the immune response generated after an initial infection could not prevent a second case, the next attack would be less severe.
However, evidence is showing that the second round of coronavirus can be even more severe.
This creates a worrying situation because of the implication that it puts on the thousands of recovered cases currently living among us.
Essentially, the same precautions observed in preventing Covid-19 will still apply even after recovering.
We have been hearing testimonials of those that recovered from Covid-19, some had mild symptoms while others were a whisper away from death – having suffered organ failure.
Most at risk to Covid-19 are our senior citizens and it is for their sake that we must conduct ourselves appropriately.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
However, Covid-19 is not just a risk to elders but can be just as fateful in young people.
With the coming of warmer season it was hoped that cases of infection would come down and so far with the increased testing, this has been the case.
However, the cold season brings with it the pre-disposition to flu and chest infections and now a Covid-19 threat.
For a good number of people they have already experienced a second infection of Covid-19. It is a case of once bitten, twice shy.
The comfort of “what does not kill you, makes you stronger” does not stand in face of Covid-19.
Now that we know Covid-19 re-infection is happening, we call on members of the public to secure the health of others simply by limiting public movements, practicing hand hygiene and masking up when in public.