Health

Zim preparedness under scrutiny

CHENGETAI ZVAUYA

The country’s preparedness for the outbreak of the disasters and pandemics has been put to test following the outbreak of coronavirus globally which has affected all sectors of the economy putting them on the high alert.

In his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa banned all public gatherings to reduce the chances of transmission of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 and declared a national disaster of the epidemic.

Zimbabwe was last year caught napping after the devastating Cyclone Idai destroyed human lives and properties in mainly Manicaland province.

A similar pattern has arisen with the effect of COVID -19 being felt wide-world.

The coronavirus began in Hubei province in China in December last year and has now spread globally with 201,672 cases having confirmed and claiming over 8,000 lives as of yesterday.

A number of private and government institutions have placed bottles of disinfectors to be used by their workers as sanitisers as the measures trying to keep their workplaces safe and reducing the chances of employees getting infected and spread the virus at their working environment.

MDC spokesperson Daniel Molokele said his party was being forced to cancel some of their programmes including the pending demonstrations as one of the measures to contain the pandemic.

“The most critical matter at this moment in the country is the coronavirus and we cannot afford to be politicking without having our people getting safety measures.

The party President Nelson Chamisa this week visited Wilkins Hospital to appraise himself with the preparedness at the facility, which has been attending to suspected victims of corona,” Molokele said.

“The MDC is taking seriously the danger posed by the virus as the growing scourge requires action, solidarity, empathy and collaborative action.

We are now focusing on the coronavirus outbreak.”

Molokele said Chamisa has initiated the #ZimLOC (Zimbabwe Lock Out Corona) campaign with a view to encourage preparedness especially in MDC-led councils.

The initiative is also meant to ensure proactive participation of legislators and increase awareness among citizens.

“Our parliamentarians will push a motion for special appropriation specifically to fund the budgetary requirements for preparedness, including funding fixed and mobile testing station.

Molokele said MDC has also instructed its shadow Health Minister Henry Madzorera to establish a National Command Centre which will have full-time competent persons to give assistance wherever red flags are raised.

The national command centre will have hotlines to be published on party platforms in due course.

Government has also cancelled the Political Actors Dialogue international re-engagement programme.

This comes after the Thokozani Khupe re-engagement committee was scheduled to leave the country for the United States.

On Tuesday, Mnangagwa postponed the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and the independence celebrations until the threat of coronavirus recedes.

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