‘New measures inadequate to contain Covid-19’

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Sindiso Mhlophe

HEALTH experts have warned that the recently announced lockdown measures will not be enough to contain the country’s rising coronavirus (Covid-19) cases given the rapidly deteriorating health system, the Daily News reports.

This comes as President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced further lockdown restrictions including banning the movement of people between 6pm and 6am until further notice.
Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) secretary-general Aaron Musara said the lockdown measures would be more effective if they were met by real commitment to address challenges bedevilling the country’s health system, chief among them being poor remuneration and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“While we appreciate that the government is taking steps to implement measures that are meant to curb the spread of the virus, the major concern that we have is that the lockdown measures are not being met by real efforts to capacitate the whole medical system to work as one and successfully combat the disease’s spread.
“Currently, hospitals are basically on the verge of closure because nurses are not attending, those who are attending are being exposed to Covid-19 and some of them are testing positive for the virus while as doctors we have already given the government a two-week ultimatum to solve our challenges or face industrial action.
“This is just an indication of how the country’s health institutions have now become dysfunctional and high-risk areas exposing the frontline health workers to Covid-19 infection and in turn the public who interact with them,” Musara said.
According to the Health ministry updates, about 200 health workers have tested positive to Covid-19, forcing some hospital departments to shut down as the government continues to dither on its promise to avail adequate PPE.
As of Tuesday, the country has tested 105 121 people with 62 589 being rapid result tests while 42 532 were Polymerase Chain Reaction tests.
Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director Itai Rusike said lockdown review should have been informed by the reality on the ground and evidence from the public health experts Rusike further said that there was a need to fully engage and inform the public on Covid-19 so that they know which activities or contacts are most likely to spread the virus.

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