Zimbabwe: Brace for Possible Spike in COVID-19 Cases As Winter Approaches

Harare (file photo).
8 April 2020

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned Zimbabwe to brace for an increase in COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases as the country draws towards winter season.

COVID-19 has already claimed two lives from the 11 confirmed cases recorded in the country so far.

In a statement, the MSD urged people to stay indoors and avoid crowded places which can be breeding grounds for the spread of the virus.

The statement further stated that the current cold spell being experienced in the country increases the risk of respiratory ailments such as hay fever, asthma, colds and flu.

COVID-19 also falls under the category of respiratory ailments which can be caused by the sudden changes in weather, especially when it becomes cold.

This comes as the World Health Organization has warned that Africa need to brace for the worst in the coming days and there has been an increase of case on the continent.

The COVID-19 has killed more than 60 000 people worldwide and infected more than a million others while thousands have recovered from the virus.

Speaking to one of the daily papers, The Chronicle, Zimbabwe Medical Association President Dr. Francis Chiwora said if global trends are to be followed, COVID-19 cases are likely to spike during the winter season.

"In terms of respiratory diseases like the common flu in our case they tend to more during the winter period. This also seems to be the pattern with COVID-19.

"The countries in the Northern Hemisphere that are seriously affected by COVID-19 at the moment are in winter. The virus does not seem to be more prevalent during warmer conditions and we are hopeful that our winter will not be as cold leading to the spread of the virus," said Dr. Chiwora.

Zimbabwe's poor health system is a biggest threat to the spread of the virus and can make it difficult to contain its spread.

The 21 day lockdown is meant to reduce and monitor the spread of the virus but worryingly, there seem to be lack of adherence to the decree which might put the nation to higher risk of getting more cases.

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