COVID19: Zim in Fourth Wave-Expert

ZIMBABWE  is already going through the fourth COVID19 wave given the  rate at which positive cases have risen within the past week, a public health expert has said.
Dr Tinashe Gede said this was a sign the Southern African nation is experiencing the dreaded fourth wave which came as the new variant on the block, Omicron hit Zimbabwe. He said the positivity rate leaped from 1 percent to over 10percent within a space of one week
“The short answer to the question whether Zimbabwe is in the fourth wave or not is yes.
“The sort of metric to keep track of this is this thing called positivity rate. What it tries to measure is out of the total number of tests done a day, what percentage returned being positive. If you have been studying our positivity rate, it dropped to about 1 percent at times even dipping below 1 percent. Over the past five to seven days, it has gone up to around 12 percent,” Dr Gede said.
Dr Gede said if there was a large number of tests being done, it would suggest that a lot of Zimbabweans were unknowingly spreading the coronavirus.
And you can imagine if you are getting 13 percent positives, its really saying if you are testing a lot of people and everything being equal, there are is a lot more people in the community with infection. They already have been spreading COVID for a while. So, in reality, what we are seeing are the beginnings of a fourth wave.
He forecasted a higher number of cases by end of next week.
“But if you follow the number there is a very high likelihood that by the time we get to the end of next week there will be a very high number. It will be much, much higher,” Dr Gede said.
Meanwhile, EKUSILENI Medical Centre says it is ready to deal with the new Omicron COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa and Botswana recently.
Hospital acting chief executive Absolom Dube reportedly said that they were ready to tackle the fourth wave.
“We are very ready for the fourth wave, and we will start admitting patients if it hits the country. We have since increased our personal protective equipment as we get ready for the fourth wave of the pandemic,” Dube said.
“Our staff members are ready for the fourth wave. Our operational budget has sunk a bit, but we are waiting for funds from Treasury as we prepare for the fourth wave.”
Mpilo Hospital acting CEO Solwayo Ngwenya said the Omicron COVID-19 variant appeared to be highly transmissible due to the large numbers of people admitted in the countries it had been detected in the past three days.
“The virus has probably spread far and wide. It is against this background that everyone must take urgent steps to protect themselves by strictly following World Health Organisation protocols which have been proven to work,” Ngwenya said.
“Any further perpetuation of the gross complacency that we have been witnessing will result in profound catastrophic results. We must change now, this game-changing variant is astonishingly swift, and we haven’t seen such rapid spread of a variant before. It’s sweeping, it’s blistering, it’s astonishing, yet all this was predicted months, and months ago,” he said.

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