Covid-19 Cases Rise In Vic Falls

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

VICTORIA FALLS: Health authorities here are fretting following a fresh surge in new cases owing to an influx of people visiting the resort city for the festive holidays.

There has been a hive of activity since last week as people visit Victoria Falls for holidaying with their families and some of hotels are more than 50% fully booked until New Year’s Eve.

Traditionally, the city would be flooded with both local and international visitors coming for the Vic Falls Carnival between December 29 and January 1.

However, the carnival was scratched off this year because of Covid-19 restrictions and only Mapopoma Festival will be held Wednesday and Thursday with a limited number allowed entry.

Health authorities and local Covid-19 task-force have warned residents to be vigilant as the city has 33 active cases as at 29 December.

Matabeleland North had 92 active cases on the same date, and a total cumulative 533 new cases since the first case in March.

This comes as the whole country had recorded 13 325 and 359 deaths as at December 29, after 177 new cases and five deaths recorded on the day.

Of these 144 are locals and 33 are returnees from South Africa and Mozambique.

In a joint statement, acting Hwange district medical officer (DMO) and the Victoria Falls Covid-19 task-force said: “We would like to inform the community of Victoria Falls that there are currently 33 active cases of Covid-19 in the city. These numbers are increasing daily and we once again ask you to observe the following guidelines to prevent the spread of Copvid-19.”

The acting DMO implored residents to wash and sanitise hands, keep physical distance, not touch face, practice good etiquette, avoid gatherings both large and small and travelling only when there is a genuine need.

“If you suspect any cases of Covid-19 please contact authorities on given hotlines. Please do not go to a doctor but isolate at home,” reads the statement.

Sources closer to the goings on have said Victoria Falls accounts for a majority of cases in Matabeleland North province at any given time because of influx of visitors.