clearn.png
Tuesday April 7th, 2020 10:51PM

Zimbabwe doctors, nurses strike, say little virus protection

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's public hospital doctors and nurses went on strike Wednesday over a lack of protective gear as the coronavirus begins to spread in a country whose health system has almost collapsed. It's the latest blow to a system where some patients' families are asked to provide such basics as gloves and clean water.

“Right now we are exposed and no one seems to care,” said the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association president, Tawanda Zvakada. Enock Dongo, president of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association, confirmed nurses' participation. Zimbabwe has three cases of COVID-19 and recorded its first death this week.

Neighboring South Africa's coronavirus cases jumped to 709, its health minister said, as the country with Africa's most cases prepared to go into lockdown Friday.

South Africa's police minister, Bheki Cele, said two people with the coronavirus have been charged with attempted murder because they didn't obey orders to isolate themselves.

Cases across Africa are now well above 2,400. With Mali, Libya and Guinea-Bissau announcing their first, 46 of the continent's 54 countries have the virus.

In western Kenya, riot police fired tear gas after traders resisted police attempts to close a crowded market in Kisumu to help curb the virus' spread. The country has 25 cases and on Wednesday imposed a curfew, as did South Sudan.

“Our government keeps telling us to stay indoors yet we don't have money to eat,” said one trader in Kisumu, Joash Okoth Abute. “There are only a few people with money and many without money, so I am pleading with the government to ensure all Kenyans are secure. Help us.”

As cases rose to 68 in Ghana, some people debated imposing a lockdown. “What are we going to eat?” asked Ali Seidu, a driver in the capital, Accra. Civil servant Abraham Ofei disagreed: "If they do not do it early, by the time they decide it will be too late.”

Some African leaders scolded citizens for not adhering to prevention measures.

“Countrymen and women, I have gone 'round the city and I have seen for myself that many among us are not taking this COVID-19 seriously,” Zambian President Edgar Lungu said in Lusaka. “I have seen multitudes patronizing bars or freely hugging and shaking hands at funerals, contrary to health advice.” The country has 12 cases.

Congo became the latest to close its borders while reporting its third death. The sprawling nation has one of Africa's weakest health systems and has been battling another global health emergency, an Ebola virus outbreak. While that could be within days of being declared over, Congo also faces a large measles outbreak.

In Uganda, an eight-month-old baby was among the latest cases.

As more African countries impose restrictions on gatherings and travel, many informal workers suffer. Ethiopia's government in a proposal to the Group of 20 major industrialized nations has said Africa needs a $150 billion emergency financing package because “COVID-19 poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries.”

South Africa has an unemployment rate of 29% and the lockdown will hit workers hard. But authorities fear what will happen if the virus sweeps through crowded low-income communities and public transport.

Teeming prisons are another worry across Africa. Ethiopia's state broadcaster EBC cited the attorney general as saying more than 4,000 prisoners with minor offenses or children will be released.

African countries that have not recorded cases are Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Burundi, Malawi, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho and Sao Tome and Principe, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some have the most fragile health systems on the continent.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

___

Francis Kokutse in Accra, Ghana; Baba Ahmed in Bamako, Mali; Elias Meseret in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Noel Sichalwe in Lusaka, Zambia contributed.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Rural America watches pandemic erupt in cities as fear grows
The pandemic's toll in big cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco has dominated headlines, but large swaths of rural America are also deeply affected
11:04AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Stocks wobble as Wall Street downshifts from historic rally
Stocks are wobbling in tentative trading Wednesday as a historic, worldwide rally downshifts dramatically after just a day
11:03AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Zimbabwe doctors, nurses strike, say little virus protection
Zimbabwe's public hospital nurses have joined a new doctors' strike over a lack of protective gear as the coronavirus begins to spread in a country whose health system has almost collapsed
11:03AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Police struggle to enforce India's sweeping virus lockdown
Indians are struggling to comply with the world's largest coronavirus lockdown as their government begins the gargantuan task of keeping 1.3 billion people indoors during a Hindu holiday season
10:19AM ( 1 hour ago )
Zimbabwe public doctors strike over lack of virus protection
Zimbabwe's public hospital doctors are going on strike over a lack of protective gear as the coronavirus begins to spread in a country whose health system has almost collapsed
9:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
White House, Congress agree on $2 trillion virus rescue bill
The White House and Senate leaders of both political parties have reached agreement on a $2 trillion measure to rush aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic
9:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Health
Rural America watches pandemic erupt in cities as fear grows
The pandemic's toll in big cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco has dominated headlines, but large swaths of rural America are also deeply affected
11:04AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Stocks wobble as Wall Street downshifts from historic rally
Stocks are wobbling in tentative trading Wednesday as a historic, worldwide rally downshifts dramatically after just a day
11:03AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Spain's coronavirus deaths leap; Prince Charles now infected
The coronavirus outbreak hit home Wednesday among the well-born and the desperately poor alike
10:53AM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: Putin postpones vote on amendments
Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed a nationwide vote on proposed constitutional amendments that include allowing him to seek another term in power
10:42AM ( 37 minutes ago )
The Latest: MLS extends moratorium on training to April 3
Major League Soccer has extended its moratorium on team training through April 3 and still wants players to stay in their team’s local market
10:39AM ( 40 minutes ago )