‘Shoddy’ coronavirus screening in Zimbabwe criticised

A video of an airport staff at the Victoria Falls Airport, in western Zimbabwe, screening passengers for the coronavirus without wearing a mask has sparked discussions about the country’s preparedness.

In the video, the official checks the temperatures of arriving passengers with his face mask over the neck instead of using it to cover his nose and mouth.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week issued guidelines on the use of face masks, advising health workers to use them to protect themselves and dispose them off when they get dump.

The ministry said no case of suspected coronavirus had been reported so far, but it was “on high alert, and has activated the national preparedness and response mechanism”.

This includes surveillance of all people coming from China and other countries that have confirmed outbreak of the virus.

Zimbabweans commenting on the video faulted the government and health workers:

“The guy conducting the test is himself not protected yet the disease is communicable human to human at less than a meter. If you can’t do it properly just don’t do it. Take a leap of faith,” Tjiyapo Velempini wrote.

“People are actually getting past him before he reads whatever is on the screen of the device,” Marawe commented.

“Even the travellers were baffled by that shoddy, unsafe and comic screening process, just look at their faces,” Mabhinda wrote.