Letters to Editor

LEAD statement on coronavirus: Govt hasn’t done enough

We feel that there isn't enough awareness campaigns on the effects of the virus and protective measures to be taken by citizens in the event of an outbreak - LEAD

By LEAD

LEAD would like to interrogate the Health Minister on the issue of preparedness in regard to covid 19.

Our National Secretary for Health and child welfare Sibonginkosi Sibanda has been trying to get hold of the Minister of Health and child care Obadiah Moyo and lady luck hasn’t been on her side.

As such we are making a public appeal to the health Ministry to respond to some of our concerns as a party.

We are concerned as a party about the level of preparedness in our healthcare institutions. What resources are in place to curb the spread of covid19? In the event that one has been diagnosed with the virus how is the case going to be contained? Do we even have a practical action plan? If we do, we demand to know as concerned citizens.

Most pharmacies don’t even have stock of surgical gloves and do we have enough supply of face masks? We feel that there isn’t enough awareness campaigns on the effects of the virus and protective measures to be taken by citizens in the event of an outbreak.

To what extent does the Health Ministry understand the pandemic? Beyond the information we are receiving from abroad about the virus, health workers should interrogate the most likely effects of the virus in our country. Do we have a comprehensive team of medical practitioners working on an appreciation of the virus in Zimbabwe?

If we do, we wang to know their findings. What is the interlinked of the virus cases on black people considering that most reported cases reported have been mild. We need to understand the dynamics on who is more vulnerable and why?

Our ports of entry are just checking for high temperature or fever and are not seriously checking on the destinations travelled before getting to Zimbabwe which shows lack of seriousness. It is not just about disinfectants. Everyone is falking of sanitizers and spraying is being done at most hotels. What are you spraying and how effective is it? Are people using the right chemicals? We need logical preparedness showing us how we are going to treat Covid19 virus. Declaring a national disaster is not preparedness. If in any case the virus hits Zimbabwe how are we going to dispose corpses?

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There are certain protocols to be observed when handling a disaster. We expect government to prepare for the environment.

Who is our backup and what is their strength and weaknesses? Does our health Ministry have the capacity to handle the situation in an event of an outbreak? Do they understand the day to day operations o managing the virus and has the health Ministry acquired enough protective clothing for health workers? How is the Health Ministry going to protect the well being and safety of all medical practitioners? How best do we ensure that health workers do not ho home and infect their families?

What plan does the Health Ministry have in place? What are the supporting services and service providers? These are pertinent questions which need genuine responses from the Health Ministry.

It has been widely publicized that hygiene is of paramount importance in our fight against the spread of Corona virus. What has government done to ensure that we maintain high levels of hygiene. Personal hygiene starts in the home, how do millions of Zimbabweans maintain hygiene without running water in our houses and public areas? We have been observing the national clean up campaign, which has been advocating for a clean Zimbabwe and we note with disdain that after the sweeping, piles of rubbish are just left and never collected by responsible authorities. Most municipalities in Zimbabwe do not even prioritize refuse collection which is a major cause of concern.

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Let us not say we are prepared in the figurative yet we always fail to contain cholera outbreaks. We need to be practical and truthful. Yesterday we were getting medical assistance from UAE, today we have to know who our partners in health services are and what can they give us. We dont even have stock of our staple food roller meal mealie meal yet our health Ministry is claiming that it is prepared for covid19.

We need to import as much food as we can before most borders are closed. We also suggest that the health Ministry should ensure that they have ambulances for suspected cases and Corona virus patients only. Our borders should also have proper sanitation.

Considering the ban of public gatherings, we also suggest for expansion of water services in high density areas by installing solar pumps at boreholes and putting at least 30 taps of water per borehole to curb the spread of the virus.

We advise Zimbabweans to stay safe and to follow all the precautionary measures religiously. Everyone’s health matters and we pray that this virus does not affect our people. We also encourage our fellow countrymen to keep eating healthy and avoid public places at all cost until we are all out of danger. #TogetherWeCan save lives.

Neil Chamisa
LEAD National Deputy Spokesperson

If you suspect COVID-19 infection or wish to obtain more information on this disease, please call the Ministry of Health and Child Care on toll free hotline number 2019 for assistance.

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