Customs and excise officials as well as border security personnel are working without protective clothing exposing them to health risks in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a snap survey of border operations at Forbes border post Tuesday afternoon, it has been revealed to this publication that border post officials are unprepared to contain the spread of diseases across the Zimbabwean border or among detained migrants.
Immigration officials and border post security personnel are the first line of defense against the importation and exportation of infectious diseases by travelers hence the urgent need to step up protective gear and regulations for such individuals, having few unconfirmed cases of officers infected with COVID 19.
This has also been seen in most police stations, were security personnel are not taking measure against this global pandemic while they continue in their day to day business.
Lack of preparation has become a major global issue as the novel coronavirus spreads rapidly across the globe. According to the WHO novel coronavirus report on Thursday, a total of 478,438 cases have been reported with 21, 524 deaths and 111,668 recoveries.
Meanwhile due to the dire situation in terms of the state of preparedness and the availing of personal protective wear by the Zimbabwean government, doctors and nurses have downed tools citing incapacitation to handle COVID 19 cases.
Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and patients from being infected and infecting others. The lack of such equipment has left front-line workers dangerously I’ll equipped to handle such cases as evidenced by the recent of one Zororo Makamba who succumbed to COVID 19 after failing to get the much required medical attention and care.
Based on WHO modelling, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for COVID 19 response each month with an estimated 76 million for examination gloves hence pleading with governments worldwide to develop incentives for industries to ramp up production and ease restrictions on export and distribution of protective wear.
in other news, the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya gave a press statement in response to the financial vulnerability caused by COVID-19, described as a measure in times of confusion.
“Government, through the bank has suspended the managed floating exchange rate system to provide for greater certainty in the pricing of goods and services in the economy. The Bank has with immediate effect, adopted a fixed exchange rate system at the current interbank level of ZW$25 to USD $1. Mangudya said.
Mbizo Legislator, Settlement Chikwinya asked on the measure which Mangudya spoke on the review when market stabilizes from the effects of COVID-19.
“The salaries continue to be stagnant at RTGS denomination rates which are not linked to the interbank and that alone means prices of good and services will go up, pensions and salaries are eroded as well, how then are people expected to survive, and how does all this help to fight against the coronovirus” Chikwinya asked