Health authorities in Zimbabwe have called on members of the public to be vigilant in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic even if they are fully vaccinated as they can still contract the deadly coronavirus.
This comes after 12 health officials from Karoi and five people from Chiredzi recently tested positive despite being vaccinated.
Mashonaland West acting provincial medical director Gift Masocha confirmed the 12 positive cases recorded in Karoi.
Said Masocha, ” I can confirm that 12 of the health officials who tested positive at Karoi Hospital were fully vaccinated against the virus with both first and second vaccination jabs”
The medical history of the other 20 people who tested positive was unknown to health authorities at the time of testing.
Masocha said this was the first batch of 32 people who were tested in Hurungwe. He added that all of those who tested positive had not travelled out of the country.
“Let me clarify that being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 doesn’t stop anyone from being infected.
“The truth is that the infection will be weaker unlike for those who have not been vaccinated”, he said.
Masvingo provincial COVID-19 taskforce spokesperson Rodgers Irimayi said the development should not raise alarm since it is normal. He said:
“Receiving vaccines does not mean that one cannot test positive for the virus. If one is vaccinated, he or she can be infected but will not be severely affected by the virus.
“People should visit vaccination centres to receive their jabs to avoid severe symptoms when infected by the virus”.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care placed Kwekwe, Hurungwe and Kariba districts under a localised lockdown following the spike in infections.
Meanwhile, Karoi, Chirundu, Magunje, Mhangura, Chinhoyi, Chidamoyo (Mash west) Masvingo district, Chiredzi (Masvingo Province), Nkulumane, Emakhandeni and Northern Suburbs (Bulawayo), Mt Darwin (Mash Central) have been classified as hotspots.
Additional reporting by News Hawks