By Tenacity Post Reporter
Residents from the Matabeleland have expressed fears over their safety if the Corona Virus hits the region, saying local clinics are not equipped to deal with the virus which has hit the neighboring South Africa.
South Africa confirmed its first case two weeks back and so far has received over 51 cases.
Last week there was panic as chatter of two suspected in Bulawayo started spreading across the country.
The residents said they are at risk due to their proximity to South Africa and regular contact with people traveling between the two countries daily.
“We fear for our lives ,if the virus comes hear we will all die because our clinics don’t seem to be ready to deal with the virus. Do these clinics even have the capacity to test, and contain the virus . This has become a cause for concern,” said Learnmore Mudau a Resident from Malala in Bietbridge.
On a daily basis, cross border transporters (Omalayitsha), travel between Zimbabwe and South Africa some carrying passengers.
Despite the cases of Corona Virus in south Africa, many people still travel to the neighboring country and back for trading since the country is one and visiting.
Although everyone is screened for the virus upon entry, skepticism is rife on how effective the screening is.
The Ministry of Health has since pledged to increase the number of port health officers at the country’s ports of entry, specifically the Beitbridge boarder post which is the busiest.
“Omalayitsha coming here day in day out , we are at risk if someone comes in with the Corona.How prepared are we, I don’t think we are,” said Samukeliso Ndlovu from Sizinda in Bulawayo.
Other residents expressed concern for their relatives who live in South Africa, one of the few African Countries with confirmed cases of the pandemic.
Many Households in Matabeleland and Bulawayo regions have relatives in south Africa, following years of migration to the neighbouring country in search of greener pastures.
64 year old Mavis Lupahla From Lupane in Matabeleland South said : “All I pray for everyday is for the lord to protect my children. Everyday they are faced with death . I have aksed them to return home but they said I should not wirry. What if they catch the virus and die. “
Last week, Two suspected Corona Virus cases were reported at Mpilo Central and United Bulawayo Hospitals. One of the Patients had traveled from Dubai Via South Africa.
In Zimbabwe, over eight thousand cases have been investigated since the outbreak of the virus in China.
Last week, the Global Fund said it will avail US$25 million to help Zimbabwe fight Covid-19 and the money will be used for among others emergency response preparations at infectious diseases hospitals, including at Bulawayo’s Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.