Covid-19: Urgent robust measures needed

©️  THE spike in cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) from 56 to 132 between Tuesday and Wednesday in the country is scary and calls for urgent robust measures to arrest the tide.

What makes it more scary is the admission by the deputy chairperson of the country’s Covid-19 national taskforce, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, that the government was ill-prepared to deal with returning residents and deportees.
It is worrying because out of the 76 new cases, 75 were attributed to returnees from South Africa and Botswana. We now have more cases of imported Covid-19 and the fear is that they will continue to go up and up as more Zimbabweans return home.
This entails that the government must immediately marshal resources and come up with cogent strategies to deal with returnees and deportees to stop the likely spread of the killer virus in the country.
One of the solutions being agitated for is the complete closure of borders. The government should look into the proposal and ventilate its pros and cons.
If found unworkable, then thorough checking and testing of returnees and deportees must be our top priorities once they are placed in mandatory quarantine centres across the country since most of them are coming from countries that have been battered badly by the disease.
Room should never be created for them to escape from the centres and it is sad that more than 100 people have so far been reported to have run away, some before they were tested.
We only have solace in Cabinet’s assurance that despite facing numerous hiccups in the fight against the pandemic, it is taking steps to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“Security at quarantine centres is being tightened in order to ensure that those returning from abroad, especially convicts, do not escape.
“Traditional leaders and local authorities are enjoined to report absconders and illegal returnees to authorities.
“Cabinet resolved that funding for construction of boarder roads, procurement of drones and other related technical equipment, in order to enable enforcement agents to effectively monitor the country’s boarders will be prioritised,” Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet press conference on Tuesday night.
The Cabinet proposal sounds sagacious, but our worry is that talk is cheap. We need implementation, implementation and implementation like yesterday.Covid-19: Urgent robust
measures needed.


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