Covid- 19 spike hits Maun
The surge is suspected to have hit the North West District during the festive season as people flocked into the tourist area for leisure.
The majority of the residents are now calling for lockdown for Ngamiland District following the discovery of the 501.V2 variant in the area.
The Voice Staffer, Daniel Chida engages some of the residents to get their views on what went wrong and what can be done.
The Covid-19 situation in North West is worsening by the day.
Reasonably so, given that holidaymakers around the country came to Maun in large numbers.
As much as we appreciate the heed to Batswana to help resuscitate the local economy, it definitely came at a cost and the government must act to supplement the capacity of Ngami DHMT to deal with the worsening situation.
The major challenges in arresting the situation center on lack of quarantine and isolation facilities, shortage of staff, especially doctors.
There is also a shortage of nurses and contact tracing personnel.
People who tested positive have been quarantined in their one rooms with their partners and families; some have been declared positive but no contact tracing is being done.
Those positive and told to quarantine or quarantine at home are seen in shops and taxis.
Shops with a high number of positive workers are not closed at least for a day to be fumigated.
Testing of co-workers of those tested positive is almost none existent in workplaces.
There is a need for action and of course, lockdown remains the perfect solution.
We may be not like it given our battered economy but we do not have a choice.
I will be engaging the Ministry of Health and Wellness pleading with them to consider increasing North West testing frequency and capacity; Quarantine or isolate, and increase contact tracing personnel and work pace.
I will also plead with them to open up Maun General Hospital for quarantine, asses Nxharaga Agriculture Institution for quarantine; the community must up their discipline in terms of masks and restrict their movements, and engaging Community leaders and Non-Governmental Organisation in helping to help arrest the situation.
People have not been following Covid 19 protocols and their behaviour and character were not the one to be tolerated.
Our people have a different mentality and thought that those they know cannot carry the virus and they hugged them during festive.
Some still do not sanitise at shop entries saying they in a hurry to do so.
What’s that? We need to intensify Public Health Education.
Each Medical Facility used to have Health Care Auxiliaries called Public Health Educators.
What happened? Educating the public (or User Community) is the best strategy for combating pandemics and similar scenarios.
The provision of adequate PPEs is critical especially to our Frontline Workers.
Patients need holistic Induction on Covid 19, in the language they understand and interpret with ease.
There should also be mandatory fumigation of public places and areas.
During festive, there was a lot of excitement and people forgot to follow the recommended procedure while at the same time mixing with people coming from the red zone area, Gaborone.
We didn’t adhere to the precautions like wearing masks, washing our hands regularly especially when going to malls and other crowded places.
People should learn to stay home and avoid crowded areas.
I have observed that people no longer sanitise regularly like they used to do and those who do no longer use the recommended hand sanitisers.
There is a high level of poverty in the area so people can’t just sit at home because they need to feed their families.
One of the reasons people move around a lot is because Maun is full of people of the informal sector hence the high movement in search of something to put in their mouth.
However, sometimes their statistics look suspicious, someone maybe tempering with the figures.
Maun residents do not take Covid-19 seriously.
There is an underlying belief that Covid 19 is a Gaborone problem and people do not follow the right protocols like correct wearing of masks, social distancing, and sanitising.
People are generally easygoing and see no need to adapt to strict procedures to curb the spread.
The new strain brought in supposedly by people from South African Retailer Trainers has hit the village hard and it is now up to the residents to protect themselves and curb the spread further.
Furthermore, medical authorities have not done enough campaigning for all regions outside Gaborone hence a carefree approach towards the pandemic in the whole of Ngamiland.
The government should have suspended the opening of schools, as that’s where most of the population is found.
School children are coming from the same household where the cases are coming from and mixing with covid free ones.
It is likely to spike further.
Maun people are taking a long to adjust to the new normal.
We still have many people who hug each other in open spaces…also some people don’t wear masks.
So we need to be more conscious of the virus and adhere to social distancing protocols.