by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) –ZIMBABWEAN doctors are demanding adequate screening, testing and quarantining of fellow nationals entering the country from neighbouring South Africa where cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) are rising.
The medical practitioners fear these Zimbabweans contracted the virus from neighbouring South Africa and were exposing doctors and members of the public with this devastating COVID-19.
This is among grievances the medical doctors have presented to the government as they demand protection from exposure to the pandemic.
The doctors, in an application filed by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights(ZADHR), are also demanding that the government traces an unspecified number of fellow nationals that arrived in the country on the eve of the South African lockdown.
Aggrieved doctors believe these Zimbabweans were exposing compatriots to the pandemic amid their country’s incapacity to test for the virus.
South Africa, which is home to millions of Zimbabweans and is a favourite travel destination for some of these nationals, went into lockdown at midnight last Thursday to curb the spread of COVID-19.
It is believed hundreds of Zimbabweans left the neighbouring South Africa on the eve of the lockdown and indications of a surge of the outbreak were likely soar.
South Africa is approaching the 1 800 infection mark and recorded 13 deaths. Zimbabwe has confirmed 11 cases and two casualties.
Other grievances aired by doctors include insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). More than 1 500 doctors are reportedly working in hospitals across the country without adequate PPE.
The government has reportedly not ensured adequate measures to screen and test personnel driving public transport and other service buses ferrying authorised workers during Zimbabwe’s 21-day lockdown.
These medical workers also have to screen and test public servants and security services.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has conceded it is ill-equipped to screen and test the public for the virus.
Health professionals in Zimbabwe are often on strike citing poor working conditions.
– CAJ News