By Boitumelo Makhurane
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has urged the government to strictly monitor all ports of entry into the country to ward off any cases of the deadly coronavirus.
The doctors` call comes after concern about the growing number of cases of coronavirus in China and around the world.
In a statement released Monday, ZADHR called upon local authorities to strengthen existing response mechanisms and make sure there were effective coordinated responses set in place.
”ZADHR urges the relevant arms of government to enforce adequate surveillance measures at all ports of entry into the country. Such mechanism must be in place to diagnose suspected patients, provide treatment facilities which minimise further spread to others and or health workers and to do contact tracing for al suspected cases,” urged the doctors
Coronavirus is known as Novel Coronavirus(2019-nCoV), a severe acute respiratory condition which causes viral pneumonia.
It is suspected that the initial cases were transmitted through animal-human contact and cases of human to human transmission have been confirmed.
The epidemic originated in the City of Wuhan in China and has spread to many countries across the globe.
So far, Africa has not registered any confirmed cases, with Botswana recording five suspected cases.
“By 2 February 2020, globally there were 14 557 confirmed (2 604 new) that being; China 14 411 confirmed (2 590 new), 2 110 severe (315 new) 304 deaths (45 new), outside of China 146 confirmed (14 new) in 23 countries and one death according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report,” said ZADHR.
ZADHR said active surveillance, prompt diagnosis and effective treatment of infected individuals have been shown to be the mainstay of containing outbreaks of such nature.
The doctors said in light of this, health workers should be trained and equipped so that they can be able to deal with cases of coronavirus.
”This calls for health workers to be mobilised, trained, equipped and well protected to deal with any suspected or confirmed coronavirus. The Ministry of Health and Child Care is urged to empower members of the media to educate the public on the safety and hygiene precautionary measures to counter the myths and misconception on social media regarding treatment and management of the condition,” ZADHR advised.
ZADHR also applauded the leading role taken by WHO in informing the world about this Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) to date.