NO doubt, the fatal Coronavirus (Covid -19) is influencing events and economies everywhere around the world, affecting key calendar events in the business, sport and social spheres.
As the virus swept across Europe, major teams from various sporting activities had to play in empty stadiums, but as the broader picture deteriorated, all matches had to be postponed, as per government and sporting associations’ orders, following the United Nations World Health Organisations (WHO) recommendations. Having originated in China last December and spreading to the United Kingdom, Italy and the like, Covid -19 is spreading like a veld fire.
A thick blanket of misery is covering the globe with fears of the worst economic and social crises that the world has ever seen in decades!
Back home, Zimbabweans are anxious, fearing for the unknown, despite there being no confirmed case of an infected person, although Covid-19 suspect patients in Harare and Bulawayo were cleared after undergoing detection medical exams and testing negative for the virus.
Zimbabwe’s state of preparedness is still a mind boggling issue given the dire state of the national public health system that has seen the elite streaming abroad for improved quality healthcare, leaving the vulnerable to count the losses of a dilapidated health system.
Nerves were a bit settled for many when the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe H. E. Guo Shaochun announced that China was going to upgrade the country’s main isolation centre (Wilkins Hospital).
The horrific news last week that a suspected Covid-19 patient escaped from Wilkins Hospital – now designated as the quarantine health facility for the atrocious disease, in Harare – sent cold tremors into the spine of misery weary Zimbabweans.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had to launch a determined manhunt for him as authorities rose up to safeguard, not only public health, but also the economic and security interests of our beloved country just like elsewhere on this globe.
The aftermath good news was that the fugitive ‘patient’ was declared Covid-19 negative by responsible authorities.
Some have questions on whether Dr Obadiah Moyo and his ministry are telling the truth. But why should an elected government have a naked lie to its people about a pending gross danger?
Fellow Zimbabweans that would be very doubtable! Suffice to say that perhaps heavens are still smiling over us or we need to upgrade and up skill our monitoring, detection and combative effort.
As confirmed by the Head of State and Government religiously assimilate a new preventative lifestyle that WHO, government and other health partners are recommending to keep Covid -19 at bay.
No handshake, thorough periodic hand washing (after visiting the toilet and before eating).
No kisses and hugs –even for the restless and hotly newly weds!
The pandemic has been declared a national disaster with the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), the country’s Independence commemorations, church gathering (typically to be affected are the Easter celebrations) including weddings and events set to attract more than 100 people.
The Zimbabwean Government in partnership with international agencies like the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) is manning all ports where massive human screening is in place.
This week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the country’s US$26 million fund plan for the country’s preparedness and response to Covid-19.
However, as the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) notes, commuters or travellers are at the major risk.
This is due to over crowding at bus terminus, where ablution facilities including availability of running water are in dire state.
PAZ, in a statement, decried over-crowding in public transport, like ZUPCO operated buses and called for the addition of more affordable public transport while urging councils to put water sources at bus terminuses recommending passengers to protect themselves through washing their hands, as soon as, they disembarks the buses among other measures.