By Desire Tshuma
Professor Elopy Sibanda who owns GAMMA medical laboratories has urged people to continue observing World Health Organisation (WHO) regulations including the wearing of face masks even after getting the vaccine.
Zimbabwe received the first batch of 200 000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from China a fortnight ago. Other vaccines are expected to arrive in the next few weeks from China, Russia, India, and the United Kingdom.
On Monday 1 March 2021 a total number of 18 000 people had received the jab and more vaccination is still in progress. Dr. Sibanda is encouraging people to adhere to COVID-19 prevention guidelines as stipulated by the WHO.
”Even if you receive the vaccine people should always adhere vividly to the World Health Organization regulations. One can infect those who haven’t yet been vaccinated. Thus, it’s important to put on facemasks, maintain social distancing, wash your hands with soap and running water all the time’,’ Prof Sibanda said.
Professor Sibanda also revealed to this publication that he has also been vaccinated since he is a frontline worker.
“According to the government vaccination peogramme, we in the medical sector were given the first priority as we are at high risk during this COVID era. I’m happy that I have been vaccinated,” Prof Sibanda said.
GAMMA medical laboratories specialize in allergies and are doing Covid tests.
“Since the re-introduction of the lockdown that started in January, Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 12 doctors. I am not quite sure of the nurses and nurse aides who were also affected but the number should be high. No one is safe. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect him or herself and others,” Prof Sibanda said.
Covid 19 cases spiked at the beginning of January 2021. The government responded by declaring a 30-day lockdown that was succeeded by another two weeks. The move yielded better results. More recoveries were recorded and the number of deaths climbed down significantly.
On Monday, President Emerson Mnangagwa announced the relaxation of the lockdown. He called for the re-opening of the informal sector and other social activities. He limited gatherings to not more than 50 people and funeral gatherings remain at 30 people.
Dr Esther Murinyu-Mawere who runs the Chegutu Medical Centre and Nursing Home told this publication that she has also been vaccinated. She urged people to adhere to Covid 19 regulations.
“This is a scary virus. Anyone can be infected regardless of their social status, so I urge everyone to abide by the World Health Organization regulations so that we will conquer this pandemic together,” said Dr Mawere.