Zimbabwe has largely been led by politicians in its strategic approach to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic with Cabinet only resolving to come up with a team of experts this week.
In minutes from its recent seating Cabinet resolved that “a team of experts be constituted to research on issues pertaining to Covid-19 and other health-related matters, and proffer home-grown solutions and advice to Government”.
Task Force sub-committees have been mandated to ensure the implementation of the resolution.
The absence of a coherent, local and scientific approach to the Covid-19 outbreak locally has been alleged as one of the reasons for the seeming direct copying of foreign masterplans to deal with the outbreak.
This has resulted in government instituting a 21 day lockdown despite the acute informal nature of the country’s business sector and various other local peculiarities which hamper such a generic approach.
Other countries such as Tanzania have been praised for coming up with homegrown plans to deal with the outbreak.
Further the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned Sub-Saharan countries from copying European approaches to dealing with the pandemic especially in light of differences in socio-economic structures.
However despite disquiet within the country about the responses and preparedness of the health sector Cabinet “noted with satisfaction and approved a progress report on the country’s preparedness and response to the coronavirus outbreak”, which was presented before it.
The report was tabled by Vice President Kembo Mohadi who is the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 Outbreak.
The report is at odds with the seeming upsurge in infections, absence of funding, low testing and absence of various equipment which include PPE’s and ventilators.
Early this month the Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) took government court seeking to compel the authorities to urgently provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical practitioners, warning that medics in the country’s troubled health sector will die.