Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'Suspect (4th) coronavirus tested negative' official twitter - wilfully inadequate and cause to fear the worst

09 Mar 2020 at 18:51hrs | Views
A suspected coronavirus case (fourth one in Zimbabwe) was reported at Masvingo Provincial Hospital on Sunday morning.The individual had travelled from Dubai and test result was negative.

"In Masvingo, a traveller from Dubai tested negative for Coronavirus. He is now in self-quarantine and being monitored," read the twitter message by the Information ministry.

It is all very well for the officials to say these suspected cases tested negative and were advised to self-quarantine. It is a well known fact that in the early stages of the infection individual can test negative and yet not only have the virus but, worse still, be infectious. There are a number of question the people have a right to have answered (which cannot be answered in these twitter messages)

What measures are in place to ensure these suspect cases are kept away from the rest of the population as soon as they suspect they might have the virus? Did our traveller walk in and mingled with the other patients before he finally got tested?

How well kitted are the staff carrying out these test?

How stringent is the self-quarantine procedure? Is the individual provided with all the basic needs for the entire quarantine period? It is pointless to ask someone to self-quarantine when he/she has to go out to the shops to buy food!

The fear in Zimbabwe is that if there was to be a corona virus outbreak, God forbid, it will spread like wild fire. The fear is wholly justified.  We have one of the most corrupt, incompetent and utterly reckless regime in the world. And four decades of misrule has left the country's economy in ruins and the nation weak and feeble.

Our health care has all but collapsed; we have no doctors, nurses, no medicine, no equipment. If countries with well resourced health care services are being tested to breaking point; we face our worst nightmare!

One gets the feeling that not only is the regime failing to take maximum precautions to stop the corona virus outbreak but that it will be found wanting in stopping the spread of the virus. The regime will be tempted to deny the outbreak, just as the Chinese did. By the time the regime finally admit there is a problem, the wild fire would have spread far and wide!

In Zanu PF, we are dealing with a regime whose cold-hearted indifference to the suffering and even deaths of the ordinary people is well documented. The ruling elite have soaked up the country's wealth and resources building palatial mansions like Mugabe's Blue Roof and starved essential services like health care of funds. Even the country's big hospitals like Parerenyatwa and Mpilo are in advanced stage of rot and decay, they regularly run out of something as basic as painkillers and clean running water!

Zimbabwe's economy is now in such a mess, unemployment has soared to dizzying heights of 90%. According to a WB report last year, 34% of Zimbabweans (countries in the region all have single digit figures) now live in "extreme poverty" - they cannot afford one decent meal a day much less decent shelter, education for their children, health care, etc. It is here the grim-ripper such as corona virus will have a field day.

Data on the corona virus in countries like China and Italy shows, with medical care most people will recover and only 1% to 2% will die. Of those who die, most of them are either old or had some other underlying illness. The fatality figures in Zimbabwe will be much high and the underlying cause will be extreme poverty!

As a rule of thumb, nations get the government they deserve. In Zimbabwe we certainly deserve this corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and murderous Zanu PF dictatorship complete with its coterie of corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless opposition parties, all 130 of them.

Let us hope and prey that corona virus pass us by. Still, it must be a wake-up call to us all to snap out of our 40 year old sloth-like slumber, demand democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections and thus finally end the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.