Coronavirus: ZIMA pushes for lockdown

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  • 14-day lockdown essential to avoid spread of COVID-19
  • Govt to provide PPE to health workers

THE Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) on Wednesday urged Zimbabweans to set aside their differences and work together in order to ensure that the country defeats the deadly COVID-19.

Zima, in a statement by its secretary general, Sacrifice Chirisa, said the country would do better if the people set aside their differences in order to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

The medical association also said the government should provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to high-risk health personnel in order to enable them avoid the danger of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

“There is need for government to ensure that PPE is made available to all frontline personnel,” Chirisa said.

He added that drugs such as Chloroquine and Lopinavir  were being used by other countries in the fight against COVID-19, further urging government to also ensure that these were made available at all COVID-19 care centres.

“Experience in other countries indicates that Chloroquine and Lopinavir are essential drugs in the treatment of the virus; government should avail these at all designated COVID-19 care centres,” Chirisa said.

He also added that local manufacturers of medicines such as Varichem and Caps, for instance,  should be urgently licensed to produce essential drugs for the local market.

The medical association further recommended that either Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Harare Hospital, UBH and Mpilo Hospital be designated as COVID-19 care centres.

Chirisa further added that public places should be made safe by ensuring there was minimum movement there.

“Non-essential public places must be closed and all borders sealed for visitors and a fourteen-day lockdown of the country should be implemented immediately,” he said.

Chirisa noted that never before had the corporate world been needed to safeguard humanity, saying their intervention was essential to lessen impact of the virus.

The Zima secretary-general recommended the establishment of a corporate social responsibility organ which he said would determine the needs of COVID-19 patients and medical workers.

Chirisa went further and advised health workers to assess risk factors before treating patients or entering into medical facilities.

He also remarked that those with immuno-suppression, diabetes, hypertension, HIV/Aids, cancers, arthritis and cardio-vascular conditions should immediately go into self-isolation.

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