Tuesday 21 April 2020


THE copy and paste approach being adopted from Europe by most African countries will not work the same as situations are different. 

During an online media briefing International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Regional Director for Africa Simon Missiri said Africa is faced with a lot of challenges that European countries do not face. 

The observation comes as many African countries instituted lockdowns as a preventative measure to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

“The copy and paste from Europe which Africa is doing will not work. We cannot fully and successfully isolate people who live in slums and refugee camps because of the conditions that are prevalent in those areas. Water and sanitation are among some of the issues that would need to be addressed is such lockdowns are to be successful in Africa because of the prevalence of overcrowding in those areas,” Missiri said.

 He emphasised the need for governments to prioritise the water and sanitation hygiene conditions in Africa as they were key in fighting Covid-19.

The doctors said there should also be an improvement in access to water through additional water points in most areas. 

He highlighted the need for provision of masks and sanitisers at the same water points as there would be a lot of human traffic.
“This is a journey that will not end tomorrow. There is a dilemma between loss of life and economic growth and resuscitation. Politicians really need to think about this and make decisions that they can live with, which is why such decisions need to be well thought through,” he said. 

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the 21-day lockdown three weeks ago, he encouraged business associations and employers to explore creative ways of reducing human concentration at work stations with nonessential staff or even essential staff whose services can be efficiently rendered from home, being encouraged to take turns to work or serve from home.

Only Zimbabwe United Passenger Company buses and omnibuses are to availble the commuting public. All informal markets remain closed as authorities fear increased  human traffic would spread the disease. Daily News


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