People with suspected Covid-19 symptoms should seek early treatment to bolster their chances of survival amid a spike in infections partly triggered by irresponsible activities.
Zimbabwe has reverted to Level Four lockdown to curb infections that are threatening to reverse the success recorded in the country’s response to the pandemic to date.
The influx of returning residents from neighbouring countries have also been blamed for the rise in imported cases.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro yesterday implored those with unusual symptoms not to wait until it was too late.
“Those with unusual symptoms should seek treatment early before their condition has deteriorated to a level which will be difficult to deal with.
“There has been a problem of late show up to seek medical attention which is very dangerous and compromises the chances of survival.
“We are urging those with the symptoms to seek medical attention early and not to wait until it is too late,” said Dr Mangwiro.
He also called for strict adherence to Covid-19 prevention measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing.
Harare and Bulawayo are the current hotspots but Dr Mangwiro warned that other provinces and towns must not loosen the guard as the threat of the pandemic is still dangerous.
According to the World Health Organisation, common symptoms are fever, headache, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, sore throat, persistent pain or pressure in the chest and high temperature (above 38 °C).
However, the little known symptoms include, conjunctivitis also known as red eyes, muscle or joint pain, different types of skin rash, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, chills or dizziness, irritability, confusion, reduced consciousness, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders. Acting Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said chances were that the virus had spread within the country and needed to be treated.
He said in Bulawayo, there was a worrying trend of people coming to hospital very sick and dying on admission.
“We are living in a pandemic. People who feel unwell should come to hospital quite early so that we should be able to help them quite early.
“The festive season spike is likely going to come soon so the infections might already be there so it is a matter of when people will get sick.
“Hopefully this situation will be stopped by the lockdown already in place but I am sure we are going to pay a heavy price for merry making,” said Professor Ngwenya.