By Edward Mukaro
AS Zimbabwe’s confirmed COVID- 19 cases continue to rise, local communities across the country should take a cue from Mbuya Village, Matobo Ward 19, that instituted a local committee and has set up a number of laws to curb the spread of the pandemic in the rural society.
COVID- 19 cases are on a worrying course; as positive cases are now well over the 2000 mark, with a recorded 34 deaths, and 480 recoveries.
However, each morning news continues to filter showing huge numbers of new reported cases, which include health professionals – mostly nurses – testing positive of the pandemic.
According to a report released by the Habakkuk Trust, Mbuya village, has sought local solutions and interventions to curb the spread of COVID- 19, as the community is one of the many places in Zimbabwe being used by ‘border jumpers’ from neighbouring South Africa, which further exposes the community given the prevalence rate of COVID- 19 in that country.
However, local transmission of the novel disease has been on an upward trend, which further calls for locals to practice the set regulations to prevent the spread of the disease, such as sanitizing hands, wearing facemasks and practicing social distancing at all times, and also seeking medical help when one experiences symptoms.
“Among other measures, the community has resolved to exclude pregnant women, the elderly above the age of 70 years, and the youths from attending funerals. This move is meant to limit the number of people attending funerals to the stipulated 50.
Additionally, the community decided that the deceased should be buried within 24 hours, no meal should be prepared on burial day and mourners should depart from the cemetery soon after burial,” stated Habakkuk.
Furthermore, the community has put in place a team to monitor the observance of the set regulations to curb COVID- 19 at the community level.
“Meanwhile, the community also selected a COVID- 19 surveillance team to ensure adherence to COVID- 19 regulations and the implementation of community measures.
“The surveillance team will also monitor illegal returnees and alert relevant authorities in the event of an incidence.”
This week, 32 health professionals at Mpilo Hospital, in Bulawayo tested positive for the virus, and have since been placed under quarantine.
The situation is so dire in Zimbabwe, as the health sector is under-capacitated due to the on-going strike by nurses – which is now in day 38 – leaving the sector crippled, as nurses are striking for improved working conditions and a better salary.
Confirmed cases in Zimbabwe now stand at 2.704, recoveries 542, with 36 deaths.
Positive global statistics are now at 16.5 million, recoveries 9.57m, and 654.000 deaths.
The Zimbabwean Government declared the COVID- 19 crisis a national disaster on Friday, March 27, a move allowing it to commandeer State resources towards fighting the pandemic, to use emergency regulations, and to deploy personnel for the same services.