Before the outbreak of Covid-19 in rural areas, many people thought the pandemic was a ‘city disease.’ CNN had an interview recently with Pauline Chinyandura, a villager in Domboshava who said she used to hear about the pandemic on radio little did she know it would also ravage her community amid so many deaths.
“It is something we heard from the radio, it seemed so distant that we never had to worry about it. But now, it is funeral after funeral, it has hit closer to home,” the food vendor said.
“I am always afraid that maybe a customer will infect me with Covid-19,” Chinyandura said.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a third wave of the virus, the Delta variant which has seen cases rising so much during the winter.
Chinyandura, a vendor, said she needed money and that was the reason why she was working at a canteen exposing herself to the deadly coronavirus disease.
“There is nothing I can do. I will die of hunger if I do not run this canteen. This face mask is all I have to protect myself from Covid-19, but for how long can I put it on. I have to talk to customers and breathe as well,” Chinyandura said.
“I love my customers and my canteen helps them relax during lunch but times have changed. They have to leave after eating because it is becoming risky to gather even in small groups,” she added.
Her husband, Alfred Makumbe emerges from a grinding mill, a few yards from his wife’s makeshift kitchen.
Makumbe’s business has also suffered from the hard lockdown in the village, imposed in late June,” she said.
As of yesterday, Zimbabwe had 114 489 confirmed cases, including 84 889 recoveries and 3 754 deaths. To date, a total of 1 780 541 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Chief coordinator of the country’s response to Covid-19, Agnes Mahomva, said no province in the country has been spared.
“We are working hard to ensure that the response teams are as robust as possible using existing structures from previous outbreaks,” Mahomva said.