Senior doctors have urged the government to make it mandatory for truck drivers to be tested for coronavirus in order to avert a looming health crisis.
Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA), Aaron Musara, on Monday advised the government to draw lessons from the Spanish flu epidemic that struck Rhodesia in 1918. He said:
What is happening with the truck drivers is a cause for concern and it will compound the situation that has been made worse by the fact that we are having an increase in positive cases from returnees.
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If not properly managed, there is a high risk that the numbers will increase to beyond manageable levels because history tells us that the Spanish flu epidemic that struck Rhodesia in 1918 was introduced into the country by truck drivers and passengers travelling from South Africa by train.
It spread quickly in all the urban centres before making its way into the districts.
That is why we say the government should put in place measures to ensure that the drivers are tested at stopovers first before they continue with their journeys, otherwise, we are in serious trouble.
On Wednesday, the Director of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Totamirepi Tirivavi revealed that nine Malawian nationals who crossed illegally into Zimbabwe from South Africa have tested positive for COVID-19.
Zimbabwe has 46 confirmed coronavirus cases, with a significant number of the cases being returnees.