More needs to be done on Covid-19 national outlook


IN THE past week, we have seen Zimbabwe’s national Covid-19 outlook apparently looking gratifying, with infection figures remaining at 34 for at least a week, but more needs to be done.

On the ground, we know the country has been struggling to meet its Covid-19 requirements, including personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline health workers, screening and testing capacity, quarantine and isolation centres in all corners of the country, impact of lockdown measures on organisations, among a number of other things.

For us as a nation to conclusively say we have flattened the Covid-19 curve is an overly optimistic conclusion.
What should perhaps happen is to strengthen what already exists in our response strategies while putting more investment towards capacitating admission centres that may assist those who may end up falling seriously ill and needing advanced care.

What has remained a worrying trend though is Zimbabweans’ response to the pandemic as observed in their observance or lack thereof of lockdown measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of the virus.

The police have arrested over 20 000 people for defying lockdown measures, which have been very clear.
Limiting movement will undoubtedly come in handy in containing the spread of Covid-19.

However, security agents have been battling to screen people who wanted to get into towns and shopping centres, at times on flimsy missions.

The sight of money changers on street corners and at times even kombis here and there shows a general lack of seriousness on how people view the deadly virus, which has claimed the lives of over 260 000 people and infected close to 4 million globally.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, has recorded four deaths and five recoveries from its 34 confirmed cases.
The government and its partners must continue to put the foot down so that the trend of low figures — if at all it is resulting from this — are maintained.

However, if these are emerging from the fact that we are not testing that much, then it almost suggests we should go back to the drawing board to restrategise.

For now, we must commit the bulk of our resources towards the Covid-19 fight so that at least we contain its spread.

We are all aware that the capacity of our health care centres and staff will undoubtedly be strained should our infection figures balloon out of control.

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