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Zimbabwe’s Preparedness for the Corona Virus Questioned while WHO Declares the Pandemic a Global Public Health Emergency

zwnews24 Editor

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The World Health Organization has declared China’s Corona virus a global emergency following reports that the virus is confirmed to have spread to some other countries raising fears for catastrophic consequences if it gets into countries with less developed health related infrastructure.

“I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of #2019nCoV not because of what is happening in #China but because of what is happening in other countries.”

…“We don’t know what sort of damage this #2019nCoV virus could do if it were to spread in a country with a weaker health system. We must act now to help countries prepare for that possibility.” Tweeted WHO’s Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo when asked if the country would be able to handle the virus if it comes to Zimbabwe, he said that they will attend to it but with a great deal of difficulty considering the country’s current operating environment.

On a question and answer article published on the Ministry’s website on 28 January this year, Dr Moyo said there is no cure for this virus at the moment and the treatment that is being administered is only for treating symptoms and preventing deaths.

“There is no cure for nCoV as with most viral infections. Aim of treatment of to address symptoms and prevent deaths, hence mostly supportive therapy. So far only exceptional treatments have been used in China with success in stabilizing patients, that is Kaletra (ritonavir and lopinavir) with” (sic). He said.

Former Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, David Coltart who is also the Treasurer General of the Nelson Chamisa led opposition MDC when responding to a tweet by Jacaranda News on South Africa’s preparedness to the virus, said “Meanwhile back in Zimbabwe our incompetent Cabinet is clueless and can’t even manage the health sector for a relatively healthy population. This is not surprising when the Minister himself isn’t a doctor.”

Minister Moyo’s qualifications sparked controversy following difficulties in him proving as genuine his degree and the institutions that he attended for his education in the medical field according to a 12 October 2018 article in the Zimbabwe Independent written by Tinashe Kairiza and Andrew Kunambura.

Commenting on the country’s preparedness to handle the Corona virus, Peter Chapepa said “Health minister sounded a bit casual when he said we don’t have direct flights from the epicentre so will be doing secondary screening (whatever that means) as all on board would have been already rigorously screened en-route to zim by addis, jhb etc (sic).”

In the same vein, William du Plooy registered concern over the secondary screening approach saying that it does not take into consideration the fact that there are some passengers who could have been affected and yet coming from other countries besides China and thus can cause a national crises when they enter the country without proper screening.

Earlier on he had tweeted that “Zimbabwe is not prepared for the Coronavirus, meanwhile there is a suspected case in Zambia, and confirmed cases in Ivory Coast and Kenya. This is going to be another Cyclone Idai scenario with a useless government who has made no preparations. Are they even screening at RGM Int?”

Zimbabwe’s health system is in shambles as evidenced by low salaries induced strikes by medical practitioners in the public sector as well as lack of drugs and proper medical equipment despite the country’s Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube saying that the country’s health system is strong and that the nation does not appear vulnerable more than anyone else while speaking at Davos in Switzerland recently.

Corona virus is a deadly virus that is believed to have started in China and is now spreading to other parts of the world thus prompting the World Health Organisation to declare it a global emergency.

Its symptoms have been said to be a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, chest pains, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat while in severe cases it can cause acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

It is believed to spread through the air by coughing and sneezing as well as through close personal contact such as handshakes and touching something that has been contaminated by the virus.

People have been advised to adopt good health practices such as regular thorough cleaning of hands before touching food and to wear the recommended masks as well as to thorough cook food before eating and to avoid unprotected contact with both wild and farm animals.

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Greyhound Bus Company Shuts Operations After 37 Years of Service

Brian Kazungu

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Brian Kazungu, 03/02/2021

The economic environment is looking bleak especially for many businesses because of the Covid-19 induced difficult operating environment.

The latest notable casualty is South Africa’s luxury bus company Greyhound which announced that it will be shutting down its operations and that for Citiliner after having operated in South Africa for 37 years.

In its announcement, Greyhound did not give the reasons for its complete shutdown but it highlighted that people who were scheduled to travel after the 14th of February will have to get refunded.

Many business across the world have been negatively affected by the lockdowns which are meant to contain the spread of the Corona virus.

Recently, Ster-Kinekor Theatres in South Africa were forced to take the voluntary business rescue option because of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to rehabilitate the once profitable business whose cash generation has been negatively affected by lockdown measures meant to contain the spread of the virus.

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Breaking News: Gmail, the global email giant is temporarily down

Brian Kazungu

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Breaking News: Gmail, the global email giant is temporarily down

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Prophet Shepherd Bushiri Escapes South Africa, Promises To Offer a Global Press Conference in Malawi

Brian Kazungu

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Prophet Shepherd Bushiri who was recently arrested in South Africa together with his wife and other members of his church has escapes the country to Malawi where he has promised to offer a press briefing which shall be aired on all media networks across the world.

In a press statement that has been posted on his Facebook page, he said that his escape to Malawi is not a sign of running away and he has called for a guarantee to fair trial by the South African authorities asked that investigating officers in his case be recused since he once lodged a complaint against them.

The Bushiris’ trip to Malawi is against their bail conditions which limits their travels to Gauteng and North West provinces only.

Thousands of his followers have comment on his Press Statement wishing him well.

Read the full Press Statement below:

PROPHET BUSHIRI’S STATEMENT ON HIS ARRIVAL IN MALAWI

I would like to inform the general public that my wife, Mary, and I are temporarily in our home country, Malawi, because of safety and security issues since 2015, matters that got worse when we just got out on bail.

There have been clear and evident attempts to have myself, my wife and my family killed and despite our several attempts to report to authorities, there has never been State protection.

Our coming to Malawi, hence, is a tactical withdrawal from the Republic of South Africa solely meant to preserve our lives. 

These attempts have been heightened with recent spates of arrests and detentions that we felt the only way for us to clear our names before the law is to ensure that our lives are preserved. My wife and I strongly believe in our innocence but this cannot be proved if our lives are not preserved. We have to be alive to testify to our innocence.

As we stand here, we were arrested in 2019 on allegedly money laundering charges and it’s getting to three years now without trial because the State is not ready to give it.

As we keep waiting for that trial to come, we were arrested again, kept in custody for over two weeks and we are not sure if we will face trial. Equally shocking is the fact that as we kept waiting to get the facts of the recent arrest, the State brought up immigration issues that they, not us, owe the public an explanation. But they want us to explain.

Against this background, we have come to a painful conclusion that what my wife and I have faced in the Republic of South Africa, since 2015, is purely persecution NOT prosecution.

What is shocking is that it was me who, in 2018, opened cases of extortion and intimidation against the officers who are, today, investigating, arresting and prosecuting me and my wife of these several allegations.

Obviously, there can never be independence and impartiality. It’s purely acts of open vengeance. This, I must say, clearly violates rules of natural justice which says justice must not just be done but be seen to be done.

As such, I want to make it clear, here, that our coming to Malawi is not an act of running away from being tried. Not at all.

All my wife and I want is to clear our names in a justice system that is fair, impartial and just. In this vein, I am calling for three things to be met by the Republic of South African authorities to ensure our fair, impartial and just trial.  

1. First, I want the South African government to assure us of our safety and security whilst in South Africa.

2. Secondly, I want the South African government to assure us that our bail will not be revoked. Our right to fair trial entails that we have access to our lawyers all the time. Revocation of the bail defeats our right to fair trial and also exposes us to further security and safety challenges.

3. Thirdly, I want the officers involved in investigating, arresting and prosecuting us to recuse themselves. As earlier said, this is the same team that I earlier lodged complaint against and, also, opened cases against. I won’t have a fair trial with their continued involvement.

4. Fourthly, I want the South African State to see to it that all the issues I lodged and opened against these officers must be pursued to their logical conclusion before proceeding with our case.

5. Finally, I want the South African State to appoint independent and professional investigators and prosecutors who should make independent decisions on the cases we are allegedly accused of.

In this regard, I am requesting Malawi government to liaise with the South African government to ensure that the above issues are met.

Once these three issues are met and I am assured of a fair, just and impartial trial, I am willing to avail myself before the South Africa justice system.

I am looking forward to that day because my wife and I have long waited for it to prove our innocence and clear our names.

I will hold a press briefing in Lilongwe, Malawi, and it will be aired on all media networks across the world soon.

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