ZIMBABWE Association of Doctors for Human Rights has criticized government for locking down the nation to minimise the spread of Coronavirus without having put in place meaningful mechanisms in health facilities, testing and safety nets.
According to a press statement issued Monday ,the doctors group urged on government to seriously consider risks posed at the ports of entry, health facilities and social protection of
vulnerable groups among other issues.
“To date, just under 200 tests have been done despite the over 16032 returnees from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases according to the Health Ministry statistics,” ZADHR said.
The association urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration to deal with the deadly virus in a holistic manner.
They highlighted the current approach by the Health Ministry where self isolation is voluntarily encouraged as porous, lacking monitoring, and heightening the opportunity to import the virus into
“The state must be proactive than reactive in ensuring COVID 19 cases are identified at the ports of entry as compared to picking symptomatic patients in the community,” the doctors said.
The remarks come as a follow up to the national lockdown which has seen armed police officers manning various areas of residents as a mechanism to instill compliance among other stringent measures.
But while expressing hope over the measures effectiveness, ZADHR warned , “we call upon the state to ensure the enforcement of the national lockdown in a manner that respects the rights of all
citizens. The security forces must have adequate protective equipment and must be cautioned on violating the rights of citizens.”
The doctors group said isolation and treatment centres across the country are in a bad state, lacking intensive care facilities and are not manned by intensivists who have the required experience to handle
complicated COVID-19 cases.
ZADHR urged the government to ensure high levels of transparency in the representation of the country’s state of preparedness by the health ministry and other Government officials.
They said one of the solutions to achieve this is by making sure that concerns on safety clothing raised by nurses and doctors are addressed as a matter of urgency.
“We further call upon the state to come up with specific programs and policy interventions that target the elderly, those living with HIV and AIDS, those with chronic conditions and the prison populations,” ZADHR added.