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President Mnagagwa's Administration being caught napping again?

12 Apr 2020 at 10:52hrs | Views
Government received praise for the noble gesture to put the country under a 21-day lockdown in the wake of the widespread of COVID-19 across the globe. The ZANU PF led administration has yet again been caught napping as it has failed to adhere to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines which call for individuals showing symptoms of infection to be tested or referred to a health response team.

On Wednesday the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the number of COVID-19 cases in the Africa continent had risen to more than 10,000 and claiming more than 500 lives. These figures should be of concern to the government as they are a clear indication that the virus is still spreading within the continent.

Testing of individuals showing symptoms of infection is key as it allows for appropriate measures to be taken as a precautionary measure to prevent the widespread of COVID-19. Not only does testing allow the identification of virus infection at an earlier stage, but it also gives room for appropriate action such as self-isolation to be implemented.

The ZANU PF led administration was accused of having enforced the lockdown measures too little to late as news of people dying across the globe were publicised all over and deaths related to COVID-19 were being reported everywhere, even in neighbouring South Africa.

The government only flinched a bit after it received criticism following the death of Zororo Makamba, but weeks later on Emmerson Mnagagwa's administration has since done nothing more to try and revamp the health sector in preparation of an outbreak of the pandemic.

Cases in the country are still few, but with the widespread of the virus across the globe and health reports suggesting that the worst is yet to come, the government should be working flat-out and be prepared to deal with an outbreak.

Though COVID-19 was slow to reach the African continent, the exponential growth of infections in recent weeks has been a cause for concern, said World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) health agency.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has been working with governments across the African continent to try trace as well as control the widespread of COVID-19 through communication and community engagement activities.

The ZANU PF lead administration has been so adamant to admit that the country is not well prepared to deal with an outbreak of the virus and has not given any concrete information on what they were doing as an administration to try and deal with an outbreak or help its citizens during the lockdown.
 
The most the government has done so far was to launch a joint international appeal for aid to deal with the pandemic. Mnangagwa and the United Nations appealed for $715 million to tackle the pandemic whilst the Irish non-governmental organisation has launched major awareness-raising campaigns on COVID-19.

The government should not be caught off-guard again as this will have catastrophic impacts on the citizenry. The government should act now, a lockdown alone will not do much in as far as stopping an outbreak of the pandemic.

A lockdown will only help flatten the person to person transmission curve and reduces cases of virus spread from one household to the other.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti indicated that tackling the COVID-19 pandemic required communities to be empowered and have access to resources so as to be able to tackle outbreaks locally.

Living conditions in the high-density suburbs of Zimbabwe such as in Mabvuku or Mbare, were more than 4 different families are tenancy at one residence and an average of more than 10 people staying there. This makes the chances of an outbreak in the country most likely.

The philosophy of social distancing in Zimbabwe's high-density suburbs is somehow a myth and very impractical. A family of 4 share a single room and under that same residence they will be 4 more families.

Recent reports suggest that an individual might be infected by the virus whilst not showing any symptoms of infection and the United States government has now started calling for people to put on face masks when they are going on their daily routines at home or outside.

Governments have since started handing out masks to citizens to try and reduce the spread of the virus, but the Zimbabwean government is still not doing anything. The least they can do is try and provide basic protective masks to reduce spreading of COVID-19.

Earlier on the government had failed to come to an understanding with striking doctors, who were expressing grievances over unpaid wages as well as poor working conditions and telecoms billionaire Strive Masiyiwa had to intervene.

Citizens in the country have been following the government's 21-day lockdown guidelines, but as hunger is slowly creeping in, the people will most likely start revolting.

World Food Program's Country Director, Eddie Rowe indicated that the vast of Zimbabweans were already struggling to get food on the table, hence the COVID-19 pandemic risks putting people on even wider and deeper desperation.
 
"We must all do our utmost to prevent this tragedy turning into a catastrophe", he warned

The government has done nothing in as far as alleviating the lives of the people during this lockdown and people have been suffering as most breadwinners within families are self-employed.

A call for the extension of the lockdown after the 21 days has lapsed is most likely going to be enforced; but questions are still being raised on how the people will be surviving and if they are going to remain as cooperative as they have been in the past few days.

Extension of the lockdown will only put more strain on the already dire, hunger-stricken country and it is the governments duty to bailout its citizens.

These are things which the government should anticipate and plan for, as these are inevitable realities which they will have to deal with.

Besides lacking money to buy food and absence of running water, people are still caught in-between the dilemma of how they will survive for the coming weeks if the lockdown extension is enforced.

Zimbabwean citizens are unaware of whether they will be an extension or not of the lockdown and what measures the government has put in place especially during such pressing times.

People have been heeding to the governments call to stay at home, but they have not been able to access any form of government assistance and there has been no official communication on what will happen afterwards.

People will still need to pay bills and eat, even under a lockdown and the government should act immediately before the situation gets out of hand.


Source - Prince Njagu
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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