PREVENTING the spread of the novel coronavirus is the only potent tool resource-starved countries such as Zimbabwe can use to forestall COVID-19 from causing mass deaths, a United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean medical expert has warned.
By Everson Mushava
Tsitsi Dhlamini, who trades as Dr Wellness, said Zimbabwe and other African countries risk paying a huge price in human lives if they do not become proactive in preventing the further spread of the highly infectious disease.
“Prevention is better than cure,” Dhlamini said. “The best African countries can do now is to change their attitude towards this deadly disease. The death toll experienced in the first world countries is devastating, and dark days are coming for Africa.
“A change of mindset and approach is needed.”
Zimbabwe has seen COVID-19 deaths jump to 23 in less than a fortnight and cases breached the 1 000 mark last week.
The country’s weak health delivery system is struggling to cope and only a fraction of the population has been tested for the disease that was first detected in Zimbabwe in March.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), after months of research, concluded that the coronavirus is airborne.
WHO recommended the wearing of masks in public spaces, social distancing and use of hand sanitisers as some of the effective measures to slow down the spread of the virus.
Dhlamini believes the use of certified air purifiers at workplaces and enclosed areas where people congregate is another tool that could save countries such as Zimbabwe from unmanageable COVID-19 caseloads.
“When used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses on the air and surfaces in a home or confined space,” Dhlamini said.
“However, by itself, a portable air cleaner is not enough to protect people from COVID-19.
“When used along with other best practices recommended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, operating an air cleaner can be part of a plan to protect yourself and your family.”
Dhlamini has secured a dealership licence to sell Carico’s medical grade Deluxe Air Purifier in Southern Africa as a way of playing a part in fighting the pandemic.
The innovation, which has been certified by several countries including the United States, if properly used can significantly reduce bacteria, germs, viruses and odours as well as allergens and asthma triggers.
It also effectively traps cigarette smoke.
“It reduces the level of carbon dioxide in homes, which can be the reason for dizziness, fatigue and lung disease,” Dhlamini said.
“Breathing is the most important function we perform all day, every day and breathing clean air improves brain function, concentration, learning abilities, sleep and respiratory health, apart from reducing allergy flare-ups.
“The Nutri-Tech Delux Air Filter will be put in rooms at home, offices at work, churches and will purify the air, killing the DNA virus there by reducing the rate at which viruses, bacteria and germs spread.
“We have had situations where people become infected because they work in the same room.
“With these air purifiers, the virus is killed and there are limited chances of the spread of the virus.
“I urge business and churches to use them as well as household
She added: “Carico’s Medical Grade Deluxe Air Filter was independently certified to remove viruses from the air in the first pass based.
“According to the US Centre of Disease Control, the approximate size of the viral diameter of the coronavirus is between 80 to 160 nm (.08 to .16 microns).
“The test was based on the smallest possible size of the virus, 80nm.”
Last month, a Harvard infectious disease expert suggested that air conditioning use across the southern US could have been a factor in the increase in COVID-19 cases.
Airborne transmission, according to Edward Nardell, from Harvard Medical School, would make people even more vulnerable to the virus in a closed room, making air purifiers the best method of combating the virus.
Nardell told the Harvard Gazette that being outside or increasing ventilation inside can be effective in slowing transmission, though the ventilation systems in many corporate settings, limited how much fresh air can be brought in.
“Portable room air cleaners also can be used, though they can have limited air flow,” he said.