Coronavirus update: Zimbabwe’s preparedness under spotlight

By ZBC Reporter
GOVERNMENT has urged Zimbabweans to remain calm as it is prepared and on high alert for any outbreak or any indication of coronavirus.
Speaking this Wednesday in Harare at an Interministerial meeting to update the nation on Zimbabwe’s preparedness, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo said Zimbabwe is moving in the right direction in enhancing the nation’s preparedness in case of any coronavirus outbreak and as such there was no need to panic.
“Let’s remain calm. Zimbabwe is fully prepared to tackle any coronavirus effects. If we are calm we will be able to deal with the problem. We want to be able to pick up any case and deal with it rapidly.
“There is no case of the deadly virus in Zimbabwe currently despite the death toll in china which is now at over 500 and more than 20,000 illnesses have been recorded in China, as well as more than 200 illnesses and two deaths outside of mainland China.
“There is no coronavirus case in Zimbabwe yet. The Ministry of Health continues to urge suspension in travel. We all have to work as one with one goal. Working as a team is the most important thing. Those in the private sector, we are one. Let’s put our clever minds together to come up with a solution,” said the Minister.
He emphasised on the importance of making use of the media in creating as much awareness as possible.
“We have to work together with the media in counterfeiting false information disseminated on social media,” said Minister Moyo.
The Acting permanent secretary for Health and Child Care, Gibson Mhlanga, said the Ministry’s information department has also been tasked with informing the public on coronavirus.
“Teams in the health information department have been tasked to disseminate information on coronavirus. We have also been issuing a lot of information on our website and social media pages. We are also working on disseminating awareness and educational information about Coronavirus through a short message service(SMS) platform,” he said.
The Minister expressed gratitude to the various international and local stakeholders in the health sector for the support they are giving the Ministry to ensure the country’s preparedness is up to the task in dealing with the Coronavirus in case of an outbreak.
“We are grateful for our various partners. They are supporting us in a big way making sure our house is in order in dealing with coronavirus,” he said.
Some of the international and local stakeholders that the government has been working with include the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and Higherlife Foundation.
Two hospitals, Wilkins and Beatrice Infectious hospitals have been identified by Harare City Health as isolation areas in case of any outbreak of coronavirus.
“Two centres Wilkins and Beatrice hospital will be the isolation centres, for coronavirus patients. Wilkins Infectious disease hospital has an isolation facility that is 7 bedded but the admission facility can be extended to 35 beds with enough space to have temporary admission facilities. Renovations of Wilkins hospital are currently underway to ensure that all is in order,” said Harare city health director, Prosper Chonzi.
Last week on Thursday 30 January the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global health emergency. The virus has reached every region in mainland China.
Some of the common symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle ache, headache, and a sore throat.