NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

‘Late contact tracing behind surge in Kwekwe COVID-19 cases’

- BY ATHLAI TATENDA MDZUNGAIRI lFollow Athlai on Twitter @TatendaAth­lai

KWEKWE residents have lodged a complaint with mayor Angelina Kasipo over late COVID-19 contact tracing by health authoritie­s, which has resulted in more family members getting infected at home.

This came out last Friday during an online meeting chaired by Kasipo, where residents interacted with her on different issues.

Residents told the mayor that contact tracing was taking long, adding that removal of dead bodies was also taking long as well as disinfecti­on of premises, a developmen­t they said was triggering a surge in infections.

Kwekwe was the first city in the country where the deadly Indian Delta variant of COVID-19 was detected.

In response, Kasipo said council delays in conducting contact tracing and disinfecti­on of premises were caused by shortage of resources, especially transport.

“After removal of dead bodies by undertaker­s or the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), council moves in to disinfect the premises. Council, however, has a transport shortage, which makes things difficult for our teams,” she said.

The city’s COVID-19 taskforce chairperso­n Vitalis Kwashira said burials and funerals were now overwhelmi­ng council staff, adding that despite the challenges, they were conducting contact tracing.

He said the taskforce would try to assist council with resources.

“Council is getting overwhelme­d, but as a taskforce, we are still searching for means to assist council to conduct contact tracing. The rise in the number of deaths needs more vehicles and fuel to ferry corpses for burials,” Kwashira said.

He encouraged the Kwekwe community to get vaccinated to curb further deaths from the respirator­y virus.

“We have done programmes to inform Kwekwe residents on how to prevent themselves from COVID-19. The problem is that most Kwekwe residents are becoming complacent and are not wearing face masks, or following the World Health Organisati­on preventive protocols. This has resulted in the surge in infections,” Kwashira said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe