A student and human rights activist holds a banner during a peaceful protest in Harare, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Human rights defenders say it appears the government is using restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 to suppress political criticism. Opposition officials, human rights groups and some analysts accuse Mnangagwa of abusing the rights of critics, using tactics as harsh as his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwe: ‘Hygiene Key in Pandemic Fight’

Government has said poor hygiene largely seen in public spaces of most urban areas is a threat to a successful fight against Covid-19.

Zimbabwe has won plaudits from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the way it has responded to the global pandemic.

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro told The Herald that poor hygiene has the potential of negating recorded successes.

“Poor hygiene and all this uncollected garbage we are seeing is a threat to the country’s fight against Covid-19. It also has the potential to cause outbreaks for diseases like typhoid and cholera.”

“President Mnangagwa knows the importance of hygiene that is why he championed clean up campaigns, unfortunately they were affected by Covid-19,” said Dr Mangwiro.

He appealed to local authorities to play their part in improving hygiene especially in urban areas, reminding that the level of neglect being witnessed was a health threat.

Local authorities have been found wanting in terms of service delivery and calls have been coming from different sections for them to up their game.

“We appeal to local authorities to play their part in improving hygiene, the current situation is terrible and can give us big problems.

“We do not want a situation where we will see another spike in infections when we have the capacity to avert it,” said Dr Mangwiro.

Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa read the Covid-19 riot act this week when she said if cases start rising, the lockdown will be reviewed.

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