Zim’s high Covid-19 recovery figures questioned

One of the members of the Citizens Covid-19 Monitor, Effie Ncube has questioned Zimbabwe’s high Covid-19 recovery figures.

The Citizens Covid-19 Monitor is a Bulawayo initiative that brings together stakeholders into a consortium for a holistic and human rights-sensitive fight against the pandemic.

Zimbabwe has to date recorded a total of 6 497 positive cases of Covid-19 with 5221 people having since recovered from the pandemic while 202 have already succumbed to the deadly disease.

The government has however attributed the high recovery rate to measures taken to control the spread of the disease.

“It shows that we are trying our best and we are doing well in terms of guidelines for management as a country, but it does not mean people have to be complacent,” said vice chairman of the ad-hoc inter-ministerial taskforce on Covid-19, Amon Murwira.

“So temporary success should not make people complacent, rather we should make our success permanent by continuing to do well.”

However, Ncube has said there was something suspicious behind Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 figures.

“Well, is very difficult to tell what could be the reasons behind the high recovery rate given the fact that the state is not forthcoming with information,” Ncube told CITE.

“First and foremost the figures themselves are very much questionable. They are suspicious.”

He said even the number of people infected to date was also questionable.

“It is even more suspicious when you talk of the high recovery rate. Supposing all that is correct then you have to go to details of the science behind it. That has to come from the Ministry of Health to assist us understand the Covid-19 strain that is in Zimbabwe and why the recovery rate is high.”

He further queried: “Is it because of the interventions from the state itself or is it about the kind of people that have been infected by the disease? Probably it has infected a lot of younger people with no pre-existing conditions. So that could be the cause. One cannot tell from where we are. You need more information coming from the side of the state.”

Ncube however said it was not yet time to celebrate.

“We are not clear from the woods as yet until the World Health Organisation has said so,” he said.

“Remember there is always the likelihood of the second wave of infections after you have had a lull and then you suddenly have this surge or an even more devastating infections so there is nothing to celebrate. People must be on the guard, do everything; follow the protocols from the World Health Organisation.”

Asked whether it was time to lift the lockdown, Ncube had this to say: “Only science should dictate whether we relax the lockdown measures or even the introduction of the lockdown measures itself should be dictated by science not any political considerations.”

The message that should go to the entirety of the country, Ncube said, is that Zimbabwe is not out of the woods yet.

“People have to do everything as required on their part to prevent infections of themselves, of their loved ones and of the community,” he explained.

“They must wear their masks always. They must do social distancing, they must wash their hands as required by the protocols and do everything as per standards. So we are not at all clear of the troubled waters. We are still very much in the deep sea of Covid-19.”

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