Anxiety grips Zim

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©️  DARK clouds are hanging over Zimbabwe following stunning revelations by the family of the late Zororo Makamba, the first Covid-19 victim, that the country’s health sector is ill-prepared to deal with the pandemic.

Zororo, who died on Monday, was the son of businessman James Makamba. After his death, his brother Tawanda revealed in heart-wrenching detail how he was left to die without critical healthcare.

Some anxious Zimbabweans were wearing facial masks and gloves while some chose to stay at home after the message finally sank in that Covid 19 had claimed one person in Zimbabwe.

Supermarkets were sanitising customers’ hands and in queues people were told to maintain at least a distance of one metre from the next person to avoid contracting the disease that has killed thousands worldwide.

Major shops withdrew staff, leaving only frontline workers as they stepped up measures to fight the disease that was first confirmed in China in December last year.

In a notice, Simbisa Brands, which is the parent company of popular fast food outlets Chicken Inn, Nandos’s and Bakers Inn, said in a statement that they are removing the chairs from the sitting area in their restaurants.

“Simbisa Brands Limited has increased all precautionary and hygiene measures at all its outlets as preventative measures in light of the recent coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“All our outlets have liquid soap dispensers, sanitisers and wash basins that customers can use to ensure that they are able to adhere to recommended hand washing procedures,” the statement read.

Although vendors continued with their daily businesses with bank queues and large numbers of people waiting for public transport at various bus-termini in Harare’s central business district, companies  took heed of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s calls to withdraw some staff.

Cleric Noah Pashapa said the government must be more serious in dealing with the issue.

“Let’s be serious about the sanctity of human lives, especially common poor people, and adopt urgency and efficiency in providing best medical care and attention but not to just speechify about it.

“It is more important to innovatively adopt decisions and actions that save lives than to politicise, bureaucratise or propangadise health delivery services.

“The anger that the late Zororo’s family members are privately expressing is deep seated anger and frustration at these facts surrounding Zororo’s death at an appallingly poorly-equipped and manned public hospital and the resistance by decision makers and influential politicians to urgently facilitate Zororo’s private medical doctors to treat his outstanding thoraxic infection is a terrible indictment on our government and our health ministry.”

Analyst Admire Mare said the country’s health system is in the intensive care unit.

“Unfortunately, there are many things that are not working and corona has added pressure on a health care infrastructure which is already under stress for starters the doctors and nurses are underpaid, the hospitals have limited and outdated equipment, electricity and water shortages then the general state of low morale amongst the medical fraternity.

“Then you bring in the issue of unending fuel, cash and basic services queues.

“Then a highly informalised economy which is a recipe for disaster, luckily the country is dealing with fewer cases so we need to up our game to protect citizens.

“The government has been too reactionary rather proactive in its fight to push out corona.”

 

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