Coronavirus:Govt, MDC at loggerheads over state of preparedness

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• Wilkins hospital not ready to tackle COVID-19,says MDC

• Makamba family exposed  government’s lack of preparedness

GOVERNMENT and the opposition MDC, recently clashed over the country’s state of preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The antagonism is a culmination of a visit by MDC president Nelson Chamisa to the institution in pursuit of an eyewitness’ account of how Harare City Council authorities and staff at the institution were coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, some government officials issued a statement, saying Wilkins Hospital – already designated as a COVID-19 centre – was fully equipped to push back the pandemic.

But following the recent death of Zororo Makamba from COVID-19, doubts have now emerged over the medical centre’s readiness revealed to tackle the virus.

A Makamba family spokesperson on Tuesday told the media that they had to scrounge all over for a ventilator needed in Zororo’s treatment to almost no avail, only to be confronted later by a treatment room  with no fitting plugs, complicating the patient’s recovery.

Chamisa on his visit said government should step up the fight against the pandemic.

Further discord played out when MDC last week announced that Harare already had two coronavirus cases, bringing to three the total number of known cases nationwide.

But several hours later, the Health ministry refuted the MDC figures, saying only one other case had been recorded since Friday.

 “The virus was detected in a facility run by the city council, and it is in the best interest of the public to know. So, yes, we had to announce,” Chamisa said.

The permanent secretary in the Health ministry, Agnes Mahomva, said COVID-19 cases should only be announced by the government, since the tests were being carried out by the National Health Laboratory Services.

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