A state doctor has chillingly warned that Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his deputy Constantino Chiwenga and other high-ranking Zanu PF cabinet ministers are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and that they could die before their time if the epidemic hits the struggling southern African nation.
Apart from the two most powerful politicians who are vulnerable to coronavirus, co-deputy president Kembo Mohadi, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo and Defence Minister Oppar Muchinguri are also said to be living in the red as records indicate that people with aging or taxed immune systems have a far more difficult time fighting off Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Speaking to Zwnews, a well-placed government source revealed that Chiwenga who has been regularly in and out of hospital since the coup that deposed late president Robert Mugabe in 2017, was advised by his Chinese doctors that he might die if he contracts Covid-19. As a result of this, the source said, Chiwenga has been snubbing public events following the doctors’ warnings.
The risk of getting seriously ill or dying is very low- unless you are older or or have an underlying condition. Contracting the virus is particularly dangerous for populations 60 years and older, but the death rate really shoots up for people who have pre-existing medical conditions.
“The country’s big five have been warned that chances are high that they may get seriously ill or die if they come in contact with coronavirus”, said the source.
According to Mark Mulligan, director of NYU Langone Health’s division of infectious diseases and immunology in New York, “it is very clear that this virus has greater mortality and morbidity in older individuals and those with chronic conditions”.
Over the past three years the entire top 5 has been in and out of the country to seek medical treatment over issues ranging from kidney problems, diabetes complications, hypertension, cancer, respiratory illness and poisoning.
To make matters worse, their age put them in the red zone. SB Moyo is 60, Oppah Muchinguri 61, Constantino Chiwenga 63, Kembo Mohadi 70 and Mnangagwa is 77-years old.
Data from China, where the epidemic began, show death rates that are startlingly higher than the average for people aged 60 and above, as well as for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and other chronic conditions. In one large study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.8% of people 80 and older and 8% of people 70 to 79 have succumbed to the deadly Covid-19.