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The Chronicle

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ZIMBABWE like the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas and New Year holidays under threat from a new Covid-19 variant Omicron which was first detected in neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.

There is a sharp increase in new infections globally since the detection of this new variant. 

Omicron is a highly mutated variant whose potency and impact is feared and could evade vaccine-induced immunity.

Zimbabwe has since the detection of the new variant in the country witnessed a sharp rise in new infections and Government has already tightened lockdown regulations as part of measures to curb the spread of this new variant. 

The country two weeks ago recorded 28 000 new cases in one week which was the highest number of cases recorded in a single week since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year. 

There is therefore an urgent need to strictly adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures to minimise exposure to this new variant whose infection rate is very high.

Big gatherings are known to be super spreaders of the pandemic hence the need to avoid such gatherings.

Families usually come together to celebrate Christmas and New Year holidays and given the prevailing situation on the ground, it is necessary to limit numbers this year. 

Imbibers gather at drinking spots and in most cases without taking preventive measures like wearing masks thereby exposing themselves to the virus.

Last year during this time the country witnessed a spike in new infections and deaths and there is a need to avoid a repeat of this. 

Government has said people should avoid unnecessary travel as this exposes them to the pandemic.

We want at this juncture to urge people to confine themselves to their homes as they enjoy the festivities and where possible, limit the numbers at gatherings. 

It has become a tradition especially for those in the diaspora to host wedding parties during the Christmas festivities when they return home.

It is these big gatherings which, as already stated, are super spreaders of the pandemic and should be avoided. 

The police have already warned that bars, nightspots and restaurants that violate curfew hours risk being arrested.

The drinking spots have been defiant for a long time and we hope this time around police will be on the ground to enforce lockdown regulations. 

We want to once again implore each and every citizen to play his or her role in curbing the spread of this deadly pandemic that continues to claim lives globally and has disrupted economic activities.

Government has said the people’s lives come first and therefore in some cases people have to forgo some liberties to save lives.

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