Senior hospital doctors have urged government to take the novel coronavirus seriously amid rising death toll from the deadly disease which stands at over 3000 from the 110 000 confirmed cases worldwide.
In a Twitter thread posted earlier today, Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association (ZSHDA) reminded government that previous outbreaks turned into disasters including the H1N1 (influenza) virus which killed an estimated more than 50 million people in the period 1918-20 worldwide.
"We have to take coronavirus seriously! The protection of health personnel is paramount to the containment of the pandemic," the doctors said.
The doctors advised government to put in place mechanisms that ensure effective response in case of confirmed cases in the country.
"We need a hotline numbers that members of the public can call on for assistance. The sick will always rush to emergency centers in times of crisis unless there is an alternative information readily available.
"Dedicated ambulances with fully clad crew in protective gear should be in place to attend to suspected case in their self quarantine environments or home and move them to treatment centers.
"Protective clothing is in short supply world over. They may be no country to import from soon. this is time for capacity building, capacity sustainable beyond this outbreak. Fabric manufacturing and tissue manufacturing companies can be assisted to make personal protective equipment," added the doctors.
The government of Zimbabwe is battling against low confidence from the public who are unimpressed by the response mechanisms put in place. This is amid reports that the country only has one testing machine.
Health and child care minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo is on record saying the country was fully geared to tackle the outbreak.
Moyo told a recent cabinet briefing that the country had 300 test kits and has set aside quarantine centres but that has done little to quash fears in citizens especially now that South Africa has confirmed three cases so far.