DENZEL ELIJAH ROMOL
Firstly, let us bear in mind that China started with a single case, so did Italy, South Korea and recently South Africa when that one person visited Italy and tested positive upon return.
To his credit, our foresighted President, Emmerson Mnangagwa has gone an extra mile and taken precautions to safeguard citizens.
But here are some realities we also need to know as Zimbabweans;
1.We cannot afford face masks, we do not manufacture them.
2.We are like birds , we live hand to mouth and cannot afford to stock up groceries and stay indoors.
- We are informally employed we need to sell some goods to make income hence can’t afford not to go to work.
- Our economy is fragile and the few industries bringing in foreign currency cannot afford to go a week without production.
- Our specialised COVID 19 hospitals do not have a carrying capacity of 500 patients, (imagine how small Wilkins is, yet its the biggest we have).
- Our medical staff are not well trained to deal with this, or maybe only a few are trained (remember a developed country like Italy is lacking skilled manpower and depending on China for
- We lack medicines to reduce mortality rate. We do not have enough protective clothing not even test kits, we will heavily dependent on the donor community (Imagine, USA manufactures such but is struggling to meet the demand. They are even struggling with test kits, how about us ?.)
- Our Government has no money to bail out sectors like tourism etc, to enable them to pay their employees who will not be reporting for duty.
- Our Government can also not afford to cut interest rates on loans or subsidise other basic commodities so the citizens can atleast afford to eat when the virus is at its peak.
- We are not technologically advanced enough to work from home.
- Most of our food comes from South Africa ,and it will shut down its border. What will happen of us ?.
- Our population is around 16 million, SA has 50 million or so, USA over 300 Million while China over a billion. These countries are having lockdowns on the scale of whole Zimbabwean population while some of their provinces and economic hubs are operational . Think about us and our rural areas , once Harare and Bulawayo have been hit.
- If we struggle with electricity , public transport system, health, basic commodities and hyperinflation now, how will it be when we let this virus spread ?. Imagine what it has done to the stock markets and economies of rich countries UK which has pledged 32 billion pounds in bail out and guarantees and the US which has pledged 1 trillion dollars to pay its citizens straight to their bank accounts so they can order food online straight from their automated factories?.
THIS LIST IS ENDLESS SO here’s WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
- The Government should stop being too democratic and deal ruthlessly with any intending to spread the disease. We should not have some silly hiccups like we experienced recently when a suspect escaped from Wilkins with his parents only to return later …and there were no charges pressed, nothing.
- Companies like GMAZ should be engaged to bring in as much grain as possible. Those Parliamentary hearings are now proving to be to Musarara what the Biblical Pharoah was to Joseph, the drought in Israel is the corona Virus and our empty silos. The time for preperation to avert hunger is this window period before Covid 19 fully sets in, hence Joseph should be engaged to use his international contacts to stock up grain reserves in preperation of coming period in order to save his brethren and the nation.
-Victoria Falls should be on a lockdown, a total army enforced lockdown( there’s nothing wrong with this, it will not damage the international reputation we desperately need, its now a standard practice to use the Army to enforce curfews in Covid 19 hit countries).
- Shut down Robert Mugabe airport and then place all medical and essential manpower at Beitbridge border post. Let all basic goods flow in through this post while you quarantine everyone for 21 days before giving them access.
- Did you know an economic powerhouse like the UK with all the medical scientists and state of the art medical facilities recently stated that they are intending to use everything at their disposal to fight Covid 19 and if they are successful they are looking at 20 000 deaths . How about us Zimbabwe, how many deaths are we looking at ?. With many of our citizens living with HIV and other chronic diseases like dibaties, Covid 19 will be a certain death and that will wipe away an entire workforce and generation. This is a national security threat that we need to thwart before it buds, lest we close and loose our country… literally.
Iran is already on its knees.
Remember it may start with one patient, who then infects at least three people before being diagonised. These may have mild to no symptoms and unknowingly infect ten workmates and friends each, these will also take the virus to their families . The family members will further spread it elsewhere and everywhere, Thats why Victoria Falls needs to close shop.. NOW. The Ebola in DRC was a saint when compared to Covid 19.
Think about it……