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Mohadi says more work needed in Covid-19 fight

by Staff reporter
19 Apr 2020 at 07:54hrs | Views
THE National Chairman of the Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has said there was more work to be done to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

VP Mohadi said this during a visit to Lupane District yesterday where he was assessing the state of preparedness for Matabeleland North to deal with the cases, in case of an outbreak. His Matabeleland North tour followed the one he undertook in Bulawayo on Friday.

The country will, however, know today the way forward concerning the national lockdown, with President Mnangagwa expected to make a pronouncement on whether the lockdown will be lifted or extended. The 21-day national lockdown which started on 30 March is due to end at midnight today.

"The lockdown was not a pleasant decision but we could not wait and see our people dying when there was an option to lockdown. We put the protection of the people's lives first than any other thing. We could not wait for people to die because they want to sell their wares. They just had to stop selling their wares and doing their business while the situation is controlled. It is the President who pronounces these things (lockdown) and I am not doing his job. He will make the pronouncements that are fit," he said.

VP Mohadi said he was satisfied with the preparedness in Matabeleland North although some few changes needed to be done.

"I have been checking on the preparedness of the province and also to conscientise the people on how deadly the disease is and that they also need to go for testing. They do not need to wait for the symptoms of the virus to show. As the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce, we want to test as many people as possible so that we are sure that Zimbabweans are free of this virus. People seem to have been taking it easy as if it's any other day so we want to change that," he said.

He toured Lupane State University hostels which have been set aside as a quarantine centre and St Lukes Hospital which would serve as an isolation centre.

"Well the facilities are there but they need quite a lot of sprucing up especially the one at St Lukes Hospital. The isolation centre is between residential areas, the hospital is a small distance away from the line of demarcation with residential homes. We need to do something in that regard, we need to ensure there is real isolation. It should not be isolation in terms of the work only but it must be seen that the people are isolated. We cannot transport a person from Jambezi all the way to Bulawayo to be isolated. So, the centres that are here in Matabeleland North will serve to assist the people."

Meanwhile, Matabeleland South has identified isolation centres within its seven districts which would handle cases of Covid-19. The province has not yet recorded any case of the virus. In Insiza, Pangani Training Centre, Mbodo Clinic, Shangani Mine Hall and Filabusi District Hospital have been identified as isolation centres while in Umzingwane, Esigodini District Hospital and Esikhoveni Training Institute are ready to carter for Covid-19 cases.

Yesterday, during a tour of Insiza and Umzingwane districts' identified isolation centres, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu who is in charge of Matabeleland South Province under the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 said centres for other districts would be revealed once they are assessed. Minister Ndlovu said there was a need for the community to be educated on self-isolation at homes.

"The progress that has been made during the lockdown period shows the commitment that the province has in ensuring that if it has a positive case, it will be able to deal with it. As statistics show that 80 percent of the positive patients can recover through isolation at their homes as seen by the Zimbabwean first Covid-19 case who is based in Victoria Falls and self-isolated at home for 31 days, there is a need to educate communities on how best they can achieve such a milestone," said Minister Ndlovu.

He urged the security forces to ensure that the amacimbi harvesters and illegal miners also follow the lockdown regulations.

"The province is rich in gold and amacimbi and as we fight the pandemic, there is a need for the provincial community to work together and stay at home. In regards to that, we urge the security forces to work with the community in making sure they abide by the lockdown rules and follow ways of mitigating the spread of the virus," said Minister Ndlovu.

Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Abednico Ncube urged various stakeholders to contribute towards the cause of curbing the spread of Covid-19.

"As a province, we have a test of safeguarding our zero positive cases and that can only be achieved through unity. The frontline workers should be given all the support which they deserve as they sacrifice their lives to guarantee a future for the nation," said Ncube.

Also present at the Insiza and Umzingwane district identified isolation centres tour were Insiza North MP Farai Taruvinga, his Insiza South counterpart Spare Sithole, Government officials and service chiefs.

Source - sundaynews