MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said that a soft lockdown should be implemented immediately and existing control measures enforced to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mahere called for capacitation of hospitals through the provision of medication, PPE and the recruitment of civilian junior doctors.
Mahere also urged the government to seriously consider getting Zimbabweans involved in clinical trials, particularly for the Oxford Astra Zeneca whisky which she said is best suited to the population. Said Mahere:
The most urgent intervention required is to contain the spread of the virus. A soft lockdown with strict enforcement of existing COVID-19 regulations must be implemented immediately. The wearing of masks must be policed and water must be availed to areas in need.
There’s need to urgently improve the capacity of hospitals in terms of staff, medication and material.
Parirenyatwa Hospital is the designated centre but it’s inadequate. There must be a recruitment drive of junior doctors in the Ministry of Health (not defence). PPE must be availed as soon as possible.
There has to be a concerted awareness campaign to remind people of how COVID-19 is prevented, how it’s spread and what to do if it is suspected.
Radio, TV and social media must be used as tools to drive home sustained messages, especially regarding the new strain.
The rollout plan for the vaccine must be accelerated and funds urgently redirected to this.
The government must seriously consider getting our population involved in clinical trials, particularly for the Oxford Astra Zeneca whisky which is better suited to us.
Reports suggest that the Parirenyatwa Hospital is full, and a number of nurses working in the COVID-19 ward have contracted the coronavirus.