A top government official says COVID-19 is almost overwhelming the Zimbabwean health system amid deaths of local people, including prominent citizens countrywide.
In a tweet on Friday, Information Secretary Nick Mangwana said, “We hear UK beds are overwhelmed by Covid19. Well, that's them. They say in SA, hospital admission thresholds are now quite high- that's them. But, let me tell you about our own situation, don't catch the virus if you can avoid it. We are being overwhelmed and overrun by this virus.”
Mangwana made these remarks at a time the Ministry of Health reported that the country registered 217 new cases on Thursday and six deaths. Some of the people who died were prominent independent political commentator Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo, Zanu PF’s UK district chairperson Tawengwa Masimba, a distinguished minister of religion and several others.
In a tweet Wednesday, Mangwana said, “Zanu PF UK/EU District chairman Cde @TawengwaMasimba has died of Covid-19. He was 48. He died at Arundel Hospital in Harare around 4pm today."
On Friday, he appeared frustrated by people’s disregard of laid down World Health Organization COVID-19 prevention measures, noting that some people were said to be holding lush parties during the festive season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He wrote, “Govt notes with concern circulating pictures and videos purportedly showing large crowds at an event in Mbare on 31 Dec 2020. Such gatherings are not only illegal but potential Covid19 Superspreaders. @PoliceZimbabwe has since been alerted & will issue a statement on the incident
Personally I hated the higher level lockdowns. I know it may sound idealistic, but don't you think that, if we all make it our New Year Resolution to act responsibly as if we are in a hard Lockdown, we can possibly avoid going back there? Ini hangu lockdown yakandirwadza ini. (I was personally pained by the lockdown).
A video and pictures circulating on social media show some Zimbabweans partying in Mbare with some of them not wearing masks and disregarding social distancing protocols.
According to the Ministry of Health, the country has so far recorded 14,084 cases of COVID-19 since March, 2020, 11,347 recoveries and 369 deaths.
Johns Hopkins University reports that more than 83 million people have contracted COVID-19 worldwide. Almost 2 million have succumbed to the disease.