Public-private sector union the way to fight coronavirus

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THE roping in of private hospitals by the under pressure government to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus is commendable and must be expanded to marshal other material resources in this must-win or perish war against the pandemic.

Health minister Obadiah Moyo on Wednesday said they had identified at least 20 health institutions across the country that will be used as centres to screen, test and treat patients of the deadly pandemic that has killed and infected thousands of people and wrecked economies across the globe.

Public-private sector partnerships are the only way to fight the pandemic given the perilous financial state our government is in. The government should also rope in development partners in the country to assist in whatever way. Everyone should lend a shoulder to the cause to combat and mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

We should never relax on the basis that so far we have just three confirmed cases of the deadly disease, one of them which resulted in the death of broadcaster Zororo Makamba on Monday. Sagacious and stern measures have to be adopted if we are to stop the spread of the virus.

When the virus hit Italy, stringent containment measures like lockdowns were not immediately adopted, resulting in thousands of people infected and dying. The daily death toll in Italy is scary to say the least. They acted slowly and the repercussions have been ghastly. Italy is one of the countries in the world with the best healthcare, but has become the biggest epicentre of the pandemic.

We shudder to think what will be of Zimbabwe if the virus is to spread the way it is doing in Italy and the United States. We will perish in thousands.

That alone should spur the country to be united and adopt strict measures irrespective of political considerations we have, unfortunately, been observing from both the government and the opposition MDC.

It’s sad why President Emmerson Mnangagwa did not ban trading on popular markets like Mbare Musika in Harare, Mucheke in Masvingo, Vhengere in Rusepe, Kudzanayi in Bulawayo or Mupandawana in Gutu. Flea markets should also have been closed. Thousands of people pass through these markets, increasing the chances of infection and spread of the virus.

On the other hand, the MDC has been grandstanding, announcing unsanctioned results of infections, desperate attempts to make political capital, but at the same time causing alarm and despondency in the homeland.

We are facing a global pandemic that has serious human, social and economic ramifications on our struggling nation where everyone has to play a role if we are to control and contain its spread. Unity of purpose is needed now!

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