By Staff Writer
SELF-EXILED former Zanu-PF propagandist Professor Jonathan Moyo says the 21-day national lockdown declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa Friday evening will simply not work for a number of reasons.
The President announced a 21-day lockdown starting Monday, 30th March 2020, to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Writing on social media, Moyo, who fled the country when the military toppled Robert Mugabe’s government in 2017, says President Mnangagwa’s decree lacks concrete measures to ensure the virus will be tamed.
“A lockdown for its own sake by decree is not how any country has fought the #coronavirus. A lockdown must be a set of SPECIFIC MEASURES to flatten the #COVID19 curve to stem the spread of the virus and protect the people and the economy. Mnangagwa’s decree lacks such measures!
“Livelihood issues aside, most Zimbabweans live in the townships, rural areas, compounds and on the farms in spaces that are so crowded that social distancing and isolation to stem the spread of the #coronavirus is not possible without specific and organised govt interventions!
“Mnangagwa decreed the lockdown when nurses and doctors are on strike and yet he said nothing about what govt has done or will do to resolve that.
“It’s just wrong to decree a lockdown to fight the #coronavirus when nurses and doctors, the key responders in the fight, are on strike!
“Mnangagwa’s decree did not have the necessary facts and figures on the medical interventions that govt will do during the 21-day lockdown: where will testing for #COVID19 be done and by who?
“Which health facilities are ready to treat #COVID19 patients and what’s their capacity?
“Last but not least, a lockdown to fight the #coronavirus must necessarily come with an awareness outreach programme, based on Zimbabwe’s epidemiological profile, that particularly targets vulnerable groups with suppressed immunity due to preexisting conditions, old age and hunger!”
Zimbabwe presently has seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including one who died Monday.
However, President Mnangagwa had come under attack from Zimbabweans for delaying announcing the full lockdown. His latest decision got a buy-in from health practitioners.
“If we don’t lockdown we could count dead bodies in the next few weeks. This is a good move,” said Mpilo General Hospital clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya.
Some of the key highlights of Mnangagwa’s statement were:
- Funerals will be exempt from the lockdown but only 50 mourners are allowed;
- Food hoarding has been discouraged and those suspected to be doing so could face criminal charges;
- The army will join the police in patrolling the streets;
- Only Zimbabwe Passenger Company (Zupco) will provide public transport. Private operators have been outlawed for the period;
- Food markets will remain open but will be supervised by public health officers;
- Those queuing to fuel their cars will not to be allowed to get out of their vehicles.
Source: Zimbabwe Voice