The ruling ZanuPF Party in Hwagwe availed a party district vehicle to help the government in its coronavirus response outreach, following scarcity of hospital vehicles.
In a memo obtained by 263Chat, a meeting between Hwange Acting District Medical Officer (DMO) and ZanuPF's District Coordinating Committee (DCC)revealed that the latter offered one of its party vehicles to mitigate transport challenges faced by the district.
"With these challenges, the party has offered to avail the District vehicle and the driver to assist with logistical issues. The vehicle will cover Victoria Falls Urban and the surrounding areas like Kazungula, border, Jambezi and the resettlement areas," reads part of the meeting notes.
Present at the meeting were Acting DMO, Dr Saidi, DCC Chairman Matthew Muleya (chairing), DCC Secretary for Administration, Nkosilathi Jiyane (minuting), Secretary for Finance, Sifiso Mpofu, Provincial Secretary for Health, Mrs S. Mpofu, DCC Secretary for Health, Handsome Nyathi.
According to Dr Saidi, the district has lost three people to COVID-19 while more than 100 cases are active.
Of concern, the team noted that: "Some people visit private hospitals and they are not documented. Some deny that it is COVID-19. Some continue to do the shopping and mixing with the public even though knowing they are positive.
It's now a burden to the health system."
"Some health staff are positive. Some call for testing at homes but transport is not available all the time. This then delays the Rapid Response Team action,"
The meeting noted the fuel shortages in the area are making it difficult for health response teams to attend to patients.
"There is a challenge with fuel. Vehicles are also a challenge. This then affects services not necessarily COVID-19 related but other diseases. This incapacitation will then create a possibility of other pandemics coming in like malaria, typhoid etc." reads some minutes from the meeting.
Dr Saidi noted that isolation centres are becoming full hence there is limited bedding.
other issues that arose from the meeting include handling of tourists who, after testing positive, disappear and go out of the country and becomes difficult to trace their movements, thereby posing a risk to other people.
"Tourism stakeholders not coming forth for assistance, save for a few. Some tourists even get accommodated at villages or private homes even after testing positive of covid 19. Possibility of infecting others is high," the participants noted.
They called on the government to avail more nurses to deal with an impending disaster.