While some health experts have recommended that the Government must consider easing tight lockdown restrictions, Mpilo hospital acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya argued that it would be difficult for the country to do that at this point in time.
Prof Ngwenya said relaxing the coronavirus-induced lockdown could be catastrophic as it will most likely result in an upsurge in new infections.
He said countries that have relaxed lockdowns have been forced to go back to full-scale lockdown, and Zimbabwe will not be an exception. Said Prof Ngwenya:
Lockdowns and coronavirus are now a contentious subject because on one hand lockdowns cause a lot of economic disruptions.
On the other hand, from a health perspective, a full lockdown is necessary as it helps us contain this pandemic and avoid mass infections that might lead to the crippling of the health sector subsequently leading to mass deaths.
As a country, it is difficult for me to comment whether we are ready or not to relax the lockdown but from where I am, the community I work from, I believe if we downgrade it might be catastrophic because there is a lot of infections in the community and a lot of people that are not being tested.
The countries that are downgrading will actually soon go back to full-scale lockdowns, it’s a vicious cycle, you relax, infections surge and you go back to full-scale lockdown, but that is one thing which we have to accept because there is also the need for the economy to function.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) president Dr Francis Chirowa said there is a need for Government to loosen up but not completely take away the lockdown.