The death of Zororo Makamba due to COVID-19 has been met with mixed feelings with some people blaming the government and others blaming him for being reckless.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, anyone who travels from the affected countries should self-quarantine for 21 days before visiting public places.
However, Makamba travelled to New York, in the United States on February 29 and returned to Harare on March 9, via Johannesburg, South Africa. He started exhibiting mild flu symptoms on March 12, which got worse on March 19. He consulted with his doctor, who advised him to self-isolate at home.
The doctor alerted the local COVID-19 rapid response team which immediately went to assess him and recommended that he continues with self-isolation while specimens were sent to the reference laboratory for testing
They were positive, but he was only moved to Wilkins when he later developed severe respiratory distress.
Confirming his death at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr. Obadiah Moyo said Government was still following up on all those who could have made contact with Makamba since his return.
“We appeal to all those who could have made contact with the deceased to present themselves for screening at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital. Staff at Wilkins will be ready for screening starting from 9 am,” said Dr. Moyo.
The Makamba family blasted the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare saying they neglected their son by their lack of preparedness and denying Zororo private care.
“The minister at some point suggested that we could take him to a trauma centre in Borrowdale. When it was now time for us to go to Borrowdale trauma they refused us to go there.”
“Instead they got the owner of Borrowdale Trauma Centre to call me and he told me that he could come and set up an ICU at Wilkins for Zororo complete with a ventilator and monitors, but he said that we had to pay US$120 000 for the equipment,” said Tawanda Makamba, brother to the deceased.
He added that they were told that if Zororo recovered they would have to donate the equipment to Wilkins Hospital.
” So basically the hospital wanted us to buy the equipment for them. We don’t have US$120 000. The hospital did not have any medication to help Zororo.
“We sourced a ventilator from a family friend. The only medication available are the ones we bought from South Africa. We then bought the ventilators on Sunday at 2 pm, and when we got to Wilkins, the portable ventilator had an American plug.
“They told us to get an adapter because they only had round sockets at the hospital. I then rushed to buy an adapter and came back but they never used it. I asked why and they said there are no plugs in the room.
“At the end before he died, he kept telling us that he was alone and scared and the staff was refusing to help him…So this is how my younger brother ended up dying. I want people to know the government is lying,” he added.
Responding to Zororo’s death on twitter, this is what Zimbabweans had to say:
Sikhosana@ People who had contact with him should go and get tested. The government should be truthful he tested positive..for Corona. Apa, he was at pabloz bar the other day. Imi ka.
Mr. O@ObertChipsy. But I honestly think he was reckless and endangered a lot of people if he did not self-quarantine after arriving into the country. MHSRIP.
Mr MakeIT This only shows how bad this virus is. It doesn’t choose whether you are black, white, social elite, poor, famous …This is a tragedy and a young life was taken and more lives will be taken if we don’t take this serious. I didn’t take this seriously until recently. #RIP
Mahadzva Yes its sad, but this information is important to the public. People in Zim are taking it lightly. And everyone who came across him must be tracked. He did a good thing shamwari.
Siphosami Malunga This is terribly sad news, my brother! I am so sorry for the Makamba family’s loss. A young, bright & promising life cut short by this rampaging virus. We ALL need to double up our efforts to fight it so this & other deaths from it are not in vain. May his soul rest in peace.
Tatenda@tatenda This is sad, this should be a warning to our government to step up its efforts in dealing with this virus. There are no shortcuts to this but doing the right thing.
Sonofthesoil@JahowvaJ·Unfortunately the government does not currently have the capacity to do much, there is a critical shortage of ventilators and ICU beds in the country. People need to take this very seriously.
Meanwhile, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said as the nation mourns Mr Makamba, it should take the threat of Covid-19 serious, by following due medical precautions announced by Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.