Zim VP Chiwenga dismisses “strained hospital” talks: Calls them embellished social media allegations
Zimbabwean vice president, Health and Child Care minister Constantino Chiwenga said the country is still good and steady to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that public health facilities are not strained.
Chiwenga said government was in control interms of managing the pandemic and cautious about vaccination against the virus which he said will “be voluntary”.
Earlier this week, Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa implored government to decentralise COVID-19 testing and management as well as turn all council clinics into COVID-19 centres.
In a statement, Chiwenga lashed out on social media users propagating lies that the health sector was at the verge of collapsing.
“In light of widely circulating reports alleging that there is a serious deficit of hospital beds, let me point out that these were embellished social media allegations by some pen-mercenaries,” Chiwenga said.
“However, if the need arises in future, my ministry may consider options of increasing facilities currently designated for COVID-19 or designate more hospitals to take in patients.
“In a worst-case scenario, that has so far not manifested, all hospitals in the country may be directed to take in citizens affected by COVID 19.”
He urged citizens not to panic and to rely on official reports concerning the pandemic, adding that they should not be anxious about vaccination as the government was treating the matter with due diligence.
“I am also aware that some of our citizens are anxious to get vaccinated. The government is following the development and dissemination of COVID 19 vaccines by other states, with keen interest. Zimbabwe has adopted a measured approach, with experts interrogating all safety concerns,” he said.
“As soon as all technical and administrative obligations are met, Zimbabweans can expect to be vaccinated.
“The vaccination is going to be voluntary. Let me underscore that my ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that our citizens are safe from possible side-effects of some COVID-19 vaccines, currently on the shelf,” he said.