BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has urged the government to immediately consider a total lockdown to help control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
In its COVID-19 Monitoring and Advocacy Report dated March 24, ZADHR said government must urgently provide funds to procure respiratory support machines to be used throughout the country for severe cases of COVID-19.
“ZADHR received reports that Wilkins Hospital does not have any respiratory support equipment,” part of the report read.
“We received reports of ventilators being borrowed from a private facility hospital in Harare in times of need. This shows the state of unpreparedness of our COVID-19 treatment designated facility.”
A journalist, Zororo Makamba, died at Wilkins Hospital on Monday and the family opened the lid to the deplorable conditions at the infectious health centre.
“ZADHR is also deeply concerned by verified reports of suspected COVID-19 cases who are failing to receive healthcare services at Wilkins due to lack of services such as ambulance services and unclear management protocols at private and public health institutions that are referring cases to Wilkins hospital,” the human rights doctors said.
They urged government to provide a supportive environment for frontline health workers who are responsible for responding to COVID-19, including personal protective equipment in most government and private facilities which is lacking.
Government, the doctors said, must immediately revise the screening process to ensure a physical verification of travel history to all passengers and an establishment of a State-managed facility that quarantines all travellers from high-risk countries for 14 days.
Government, the doctors added, should also urgently provide economic support measures to all Zimbabweans in view of how their income-generating activities are going to be affected by the restricted movements, including tax breaks to companies to ensure they are able to continue paying salaries.