Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who was recently appointed as the Minister of Health specifically to work on reducing the scourge of the Coronavirus In the country appears set for a mammoth task.
Eighteen more deaths due to Covid-19 have been recorded between Thursday last week and Tuesday this week after tests during post-mortems, taking the total death toll to 122.
In its daily report yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said the patients died in the community and on admission to the casualty ward at Parirenyatwa Hospital and other hospitals. Almost all the deaths — 10 men and six women — were in Harare with one man each from Manicaland and Midlands. Mutare and Gweru have been seen as the epicentres of the pandemic in these two provinces.
Yesterday, 75 new infections were confirmed, all local except a single returning resident from South Africa, taking the total to 4 893 confirmed cases with 3 740 of these being infected within Zimbabwe.
Of the local infections, Harare accounts for 1 595 with 71 deaths, Bulawayo for 1 103 with 23 deaths, Midlands for 334 with six deaths and Manicaland for 195 with 10 deaths. Mashonaland East, which includes a belt of settlements, such as Ruwa, right on Harare’s eastern border, now has 197 local cases and one death.
There have been 1 620 confirmed recoveries but with the Harare total on just 76 there is still a large group of people who are now well but who have yet to enter the official statistics as cured.
President Mnangagwa appointed Vice President Chiwenga as new Health Minister after firing Dr Obadiah Moyo after he was arrested on allegations of involvement in a dubious procurement deal now cancelled.