HEALTH experts have warned the government against fully relaxing coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions as positive cases continue to rise.
As at September 11 Zimbabwe had registered 7 479 confirmed cases, including 5 660 recoveries and 224 deaths.
Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) secretary-general Aaron Musara told the Daily News on Sunday that the recent spike in the number of cases is likely to give the government a headache.
“Our information is distorted and we cannot say the figures we are getting are correct because hospitals are not functioning. Currently, the government is facing a dilemma because they can’t continue relaxing coronavirus (Covid-19) measures as cases are going up.
“The best thing for the government is to make sure that hospitals are functioning so that we get correct information. “The economy and the health system are interconnected and you can’t concentrate on the economy alone or the health system alone and at this moment it’s difficult for the government to make decisions,” Musara said.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) president Enock Dongo said at the moment the government is caught between a rock and a hard place.
“The government is in a dilemma because they fear that the economy will shrink and they want to ease Covid-19 restrictions but it’s not the best move. In the meantime, they must sacrifice the economy to save people’s lives.
“The government must know that we are likely to see cases of Covid-19 rising and currently they are not doing proper things to fight the disease. We need more tests so that we can be able to fight Covid-19,” Dongo said.
But Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is the head of the country’s Covid-19 taskforce recently told the National Assembly that the country is moving in the right direction in as far as the fight against deadly pandemic is concerned.
“The success story is pointing to the good mechanisms that we have put in place, including the curfew which we introduced after a very scientific review which analyses our capacity and capability.
“Decisions that we make are informed while thorough research is done. If and when we are satisfied that the environment is conducive, we will consider that (curfew review).
“At the moment, there is equilibrium between increases in infections and increases in the recoveries, so it is important that we continuously review as we improve. We do have eight pillars of experts who study the situation within our region and also, we work very closely with the (World Health Organisation) WHO.
“At the moment as I have alluded to, we have reached an equilibrium stage in our statistics. We are satisfied that our interventions are bearing fruit.”
With the government facing a barrage of criticism over its decision to reopen schools for examination classes starting tomorrow, Muchinguri-Kashiri insisted that the verdict was arrived at following extensive consultations.
“A lot of research was done by the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education together with the ministry of Health and they are responsible for making recommendations to the task force which also recommends to the Cabinet.
“So, at the moment, we are very satisfied that it is the statistics, the interaction which they undertook with all relevant stakeholders that has been done and both indicated that they are happy. All measures have been put in place to make sure that the environment will be safe to allow examinations to take place,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.