Main opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has sounded the alarm as the Covid-19 virus ravages the country, telling Nehanda Radio in an interview that it can no longer be “business as usual” and that “citizens should not wait for the government to take action”.
COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe have now surpassed 86,000, more than double compared with the figures last month, while deaths have reached 2,697. With a dilapidated health care system from years of corruption and mismanagement, all hope now lies on an ongoing vaccination campaign.
Zimbabwe authorised the use of the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, as well as Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin. Out of an estimated population of 14 million people, its thought 4.2 million have now been vaccinated and the country is expecting to soon receive 1.5 million doses.
Chamisa said while the government was doing its best under the circumstances several puzzling decisions had left the population exposed.
He cited for example that although all gatherings are banned except funerals, which are limited to 30 people, state run Zupco buses were in most cases cramming over 75 passengers despite authorities saying they should limit the carrying capacity to 35.
“Don’t wait for the government to take action, treat everyone as a potential risk or spreader, not out of stigmatization but sensitisation. Treat everyplace as a potential hotspot. Every person is a crowd and potential super-spreader.
“Whereas government is trying , more could be done in terms of testing and contact tracing in rural areas. Uninformed communities are a hotbed for the virus to thrive. Add how expensive it is to get treated in this country and the lack of ventilators, more support is needed,” Chamisa added.
Chamisa’s call comes just a few hours after it was reported that five villagers from Lower Gweru under Chief Sogwala died of Covid-19 in a space of a week after attending a funeral service for a relative who had succumbed to the virus. Nehanda Radio