By Ransom Mandhlazi
Just like the famous Liverpool song, there is a silver lining at the end of every dark cloud. The outbreak of Covid-19 that began in Wuhan in China in December last year has now turned into a pandemic. Now more than 180 countries have confirmed cases of the virus.
The virus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Educational institution, shops, restaurants, recreational facilities and many others are closed for next month or more. Our lives have almost come to a halt. All this has been done for a very good reason - to contain the spread of the virus.
By the time infections began to soar at an exponential rate, most affected countries, including the US found themselves severely short of test kits, masks, ventilators and other necessary medical supplies including personal protection equipment (PPE).
In fact, governments and health care system almost in all affected countries caught short handed. In Europe, even with one of the best standards of medical care, COVID-19 has completely overwhelmed most healthcare systems.
In USA which has become the epicenter of the pandemic, over 1, 3 million people tested positive of the virus, 80000 people died and over 200000 recoveries.
The UK death toll from Covid-19 has surpassed 40,000, the figures cement the UK as the worst-affected country in Europe. Italy has recorded 30,739 deaths, Spain 26,744 and France 26,604, while Germany has recorded 7,661 deaths.
In Asia, China has now a total of 82,919 cases and 4,633 deaths, with over 70000 recovered and all regions across China now categorized as ‘low’ risk level.
Of note is the fact that political leaders are dealing with crisis largely on a national basis but the virus does not recognise borders.
This reflects the prevailing nature of governance in countries around the world, with Europe bullying the developing countries but no country alone including developed countries can, by purely national efforts, be able to overcome the virus.
The health crisis, hopefully, will be resolved in the near future, but the political and economic ramifications will be far reaching and could last for generations.
No country alone can by its own efforts be able to overcome the virus. Only a global collaborative effort with far reaching vision can get us out this crisis. In Africa, with Egypt with over 9000 cases, over 2100 recoveries and 533 deaths, over 60,000 confirmed cases of corona virus across the continent, with 2,344 death, 23,143 recoveries, which is way less than Europe and the US.
Although the World Health Organization anticipates Africa could be the next COVID-19 epicenter in the World as cases skyrocket, but it is in Europe were figures continue to surge by each day.
With many conspiracy studies that corona virus cases have started spreading from urban areas to remote areas in some parts of the continent, but the figures remain constant, and in some cases declining.
Currently, the US has the highest recorded cases in the world, almost triple the number of cases and deaths recorded anywhere in the world. But WHO insists that, because of the process by which the novel virus spreads, Africa is more vulnerable of a corona virus catastrophe which could see both the number of deaths and cases galloping.
Speaking to BBC, WHO’s director in Africa, Dr. Moeti highlighted that there has been a trend in cases spreading from urban areas to “the hinterlands”, that is, to the most rural areas and small towns and this is a huge threat to the unprepared continent.
However, most African countries closed down their borders and effected weeks-long national lockdowns in efforts to curb the spread of the virus, with Zimbabwe included. These efforts are notably focused on prevention the virus.
With the adverse of COVID-19 herbal cure, Madagascar Covid-Organics (CVO), an organic herbal concoction, which is said to prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel corona virus, African cases are expected to drop significantly.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) had warned against the use of CVO, most African countries have taken upon themselves to safe their population in their respective countries.
"If it were a European country which had discovered this remedy, would there be so many doubts,’’ said Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina, in an interview with France 24.
''The problem is that it comes from Africa. And they cannot accept that a country like Madagascar, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, has discovered this formula to save the world," he added.
He attributed recovery of 105 COVID-19 patients in Madagascar to the herbal potion.
Madagascar has donated CVO, which is claimed to cure the COVID-19 to several African countries.
In Southern Africa, South Africa is the worst virus-hit country in the Southern African Development Community region with 10,652 confirmed cases, 4,357 recoveries and 206 deaths.
Zambia confirmed 267 cases, 117 recovered and seven deaths and their graph keeps pointing upwards, while Zimbabwe registered 46 confirmed cases, 18 recoveries and four deaths so far.
Zimbabwe maintained a clean sheet for an entire week on April 30-May 7, before new cases were recorded again.
With many casting doom upon Zimbabwe, the country have managed to contain the spread of the virus, as President E.D Mnangagwa timely announced total lockdown.
Zimbabwe closed its borders and airports on March 30 when it announced its first 21-day lockdown with restricted movements and a ban of church, sports, and leisure gatherings.
The lockdown was later extended indefinitely with a relaxed approach to allow businesses to start operating, but testing of all workers is mandatory while a new law that criminalize non-wearing of a mask is now in place.
With the arrival of the Chinese doctors to help Zimbabwe, the cases of recoveries are expected to rise, with the aid of discipline of the people of Zimbabwe in observing social distance and wear mask.
China sent 12 medical experts to Zimbabwe to help tackle the corona virus pandemic, the medical experts also bring medical supplies including ventilators, face masks and PPEs. The medical equipment will be provided as a donation by the Chinese provincial government to Harare, in a show of close ties between the two countries.
Referring to the reason of the country's low numbers, Dr Mangwiro, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care said: "All we are doing is to follow the World Health Organizations (WHO) guidelines, taking from what the Chinese did in Wuhan and other regions.”
“As the government, it’s our duty to let people know the truth, our figures are coming from proper tests and the results are there for all to see,” he added.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.
The pandemic has killed over 286,300 worldwide, with total infections more than 4.17 million, while recoveries exceeded 1.46 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.