By Matabeleland North Correspondent
VICTORIA FALLS, a common destination for thousands of world tourists annually, does not have any facilities to test for the deadly coronavirus and is flying samples of suspected cases of the disease to Harare or Johannesburg in South Africa.
The Hwange district medical officer, Fungai Mvura confirmed the development and said it lacked logic. Victoria Falls is under Hwange district and it is Zimbabwe’s prime tourism destination.
“It lacks logic to have samples sent to Harare or Johannesburg considering that the destination (Victoria Falls) handles large volumes of visitors on a daily basis,” the district medical officer said.
As a result the town is waiting for days to get confirmation of the results although no-one has tested positive of the virus in the town or in Zimbabwe at a whole.
Meanwhile, Nelson Chamisa’s MDC has called for drastic action to be taken to deal with the coronavirus in the country as Zimbabwe faced a grim future if the government did not immediately set-up structures to prevent a full scale outbreak of the disease in the country.
“The fact that COVID-19 is spreading so fast around the globe, and that our neighbour South Africa has already reported cases should send a cold chill down our spine, for many reasons. The question is when, not if, COVID-19 will come to Zimbabwe,” Henry Madzorera, the MDC Health Secretary said in a statement.
“COVID-19 outbreak comes at a time when our health delivery system is weak and lacks resilience. Even the most basic day to day health care delivery is virtually non-existent to the citizenry. Public confidence and trust in our health-care system is at an all-time low. Routine surveillance and epidemic intelligence has suffered greatly due to the challenges bedevilling the system.”
The politician said Zimbabweans were extremely worried by the possibility that they may already have cases that went undetected and unreported.
“Poor surveillance will yield very dangerous statistics. The bungling in the handling of the few cases reported in the media betrays high levels of unpreparedness on the part of government. Citizens are worried by the track record of our government over the past forty years,” said Madzorera.