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Covid 19 the virus is the clock

19 Apr 2020 at 07:40hrs | Views
As we countdown the clock of the lockdown period, President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces a dilemma on whether to stop the clock at the lapse of the 21days or not.
It is evidently clear that the battle against Covid 19 is far from over yet we are a day away from the stop of the lockdown clock.

According to Dr Anthony Fauci a USA immunologist " the virus is the clock "
This is to say that lockdown clock can only be stopped when cases of new infections a falls.
The kinetics of the outbreak can only determine when to stop.

According to Dr Fauci Covid 19 case scenarios have shown that recovery comes at different times for different countries to the extent that no case study is informative enough unless the virus is eliminated.
Zimbabwe has just carried out 2626 tests country wide, with 25 confirmed cases,3 deaths and 2 recoveries.
The rates of testing has been low which makes it extremely difficult to determine if the country is out of danger or not.

The numbers are not representative enough.
This is the dilemma President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces.
If the clocks stops tomorrow does it automatically suggest that we have contained the outbreak.
If it the government decide to continue lockdown what is the cost.
The Covid 19 crisis has a dual cost human and economic.

Economically the lockdown period have had a negative impact thou it is not known how much has been the cost per day,but clearly the longer the economy stays stagnant the dire the problem.
The grand puzzle is how to strike a balance keeping the economy alive while avoiding deaths- with the kind of health delivery system we have how do you manage it.

According to Pamela Ngozo director of Youth Integrated Action on Development and Democracy Zimbabwe  (YIADDZ) extending the lockdown period should be an inclusive decision.

"If extension is to come, the government ought to engage its people",
"This should not be just a case of state intervention, it should be about combined action between various constituencies and actors in the society"

" We need to achieve two things- the President's leadership and cooperation from the social actors, so that we come out of this crisis stronger than we went in, as for the economy we will see" she said.
It is however, imperative to note that Covid 19 crisis should be treated as a natural disaster which must be addressed effectively without looking at the economic cost.

The government needs to roll out massive testing to determine the extent of infections, without which the lockdown option is just useless.

Writing on his Twitter page Tendai Biti noted that the government must test people , quarantine, treat and track all victims of the Covid 19 virus.

The task force on Covid 19 led by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has largely been restricted to the urban areas making the bias of their findings urbancentric yet most of the Zimbabwean population is in the rural areas.

Their advice to the President might not be representative enough to inform inclusive decision making process on whether to stop the clock or to extend.

But what is becoming increasingly popular on the various social media platforms is that extension of the lockdown periods should be supported by the roll out of massive testing.

Many countries have gone beyond 50 days of lockdown and in most cases the battle is far from over in China and South Korea where lockdown was lifted there are threats of reactivations and new infections have been reported which makes programming for elimination of the virus more complex.

Source - MLF
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