Zim’s recovery rate positive sign in fight against Covid-19: Health officials

Health officials believe the country’s Covid-19 recovery rate is a ‘hopeful’ sign that people have adopted good behaviour needed to fight the fast-spreading virus.

As of September 21, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said Zimbabwe’s national recovery rate stands at 77 percent.

“Zimbabwe has now recorded 7 706 cases, 5 948 recoveries and 226 deaths. 24 new total recoveries were reported (on the day) and national recovery rate stands at 77 percent and active cases go down to 1 532 today,” said the ministry.

In an interview with CITE in Bulawayo, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro expressed cautious optimism on the recovery of Covid-19 patients but warned against complacency.

“That’s a very important analysis and we want to thank Zimbabweans for their positive response towards Covid-19. If a recovery rate is at 77 percent, (it is encouraging),” he said.

“I was listening to South African reports and their recovery rate is 79 to 80 percent. Other countries are almost around there. It’s a good sign that we are going in a positive direction, we are heading the call and we must continue to spread the positive message.”

Dr Mangwiro said it was important to continue spreading awareness and sticking to the prescribed regulations, as there is no Covid-19 treatment.

“We don’t know when Covid-19 is going to end so we must continue in the trend of positive recovery if we can reach a  rate of 90 and 100 percent recoveries. We want to reach a point pronounced by His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa that no Zimbabwean must die because of this illness,” said the deputy minister.

Since Covid-19 broke out in the country in March, many people adopted homemade concoctions that include lemons, ginger, garlic as preventative measures to protect themselves.

Although these methods’ effectiveness have not been scientifically proven, people continue using them, hoping not to catch the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) maintains there is no cure for Covid-19 and emphasises on the strict adherence to its guidelines to contain the virus.

However, in April, Zimbabwe’s government authorised traditional herbalists to treat coronavirus patients, although health experts were sceptical and urged extreme caution.

“There is no known cure but when people are desperate they do anything I cant attribute (steaming or other methods) to contributing to recovery because this recovery is happening in South Africa and other countries. I’m not sure they are using lemons or other steaming methods,” Dr Mangwiro said.

He noted that at times, these steaming methods could be dangerous to those who may have respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis or cancer of the lungs.

“It might become dangerous, so for now, I want to re-emphasise that there’s no cure for the Covid-19 virus. There’s no treatment as yet.”

Dr Mangwiro did however attribute the recovery of Covid-19 patients to the behaviour of citizens.  

“I think it’s the behaviour that Zimbabwe has adopted. I can see here everyone is well behaved and masks are on. We want to continue with that positive message. Let’s continue to stay at home and put on our masks, wash our hands continuously, this is what we are supposed to do,” he said.

Some, however, questioned the high Covid-19 recovery figures, claiming there was something suspicious behind Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 figures given that authorities were unforthcoming with information.

“Well, it 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,” once said one of the members of the Citizens Covid-19 Monitor Effie Ncube.

Ncube noted the number of people infected to date was also questionable.

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