MP Kwaramba fights disinformation during Coronavirus crisis

By Nhau Mangirazi

HURUNGWE- Member of Parliament representing Hurungwe as Proportional Representative Hon Goodlucky Kwaramba has challenged leadership from political divide and churches to fight ‘disinformation’ propped by fake news during the Coronavirus crisis.

Contributing during a debate at Hurungwe Community Radio program here at the weekend, Hon Kwaramba said its high time leaders take the lead in giving out ‘factual information’ on the impact of Coronavirus.

‘It is our role as Members of Parliament, councilors and traditional leaders to take the lead in giving accurate and factual information of what is trending in our communities about Coronavirus. We must work hard against misinformation and fake news as social media has been abused by some who are doing it out of ignorance. It is our mandate to make a difference on our health,’ she said.

Her call came against the backdrop of a fake suspected Convid 19 case in Hurungwe that went viral on social media.

It claimed that one patient had tested positive at Chidamoyo mission hospital but after tests were done and proved ‘untrue’

Provincial Civil Protection Unit Cecilia Chitiyo said although they had activated district CPU committees, there was no confirmed case as of yet.

Katiyo said that their teams are on ‘high alert’ within the province’s seven districts including Hurungwe, Kariba, Makonde, Chegutu, Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zvimba and Sanyati.

She said, ‘‘Currently, we are pulling resources and teams are on high alert at our existing facilities including two of our northern border entry points at Chirundu and Kariba. We have a quarantine center at Chirundu border post,’

‘‘We can safely say there has not been any suspected cases of COVID-19 in the province as our teams of doctors and nurses are on the ground monitoring everything. Mashonaland West is safe for now,’ she said.

‘‘We want to assure the nation that the Mashonaland West is safe as the suspected case in Hurungwe was fake and a hoax. Our team of trained medical personnel (Hurungwe District Medical Officer and nurses) went there and verified that the suspected patient had never traveled out of the country,’ said Katiyo.

Women Aids Support Network (WASN) director Anna Pindukai added her voice that  COVID-19 is a health issue of global concern.

‘As countries battle to fight this pandemic that falls under Universal Health Coverage but with precautions that COVID- 19 is centered on better hygiene that we must all try to do better for our security as a family, community and nation at large,’ said Pindukai.

She called on communities to be informed with accurate information.

‘Communities need correct and consistent information on all mediums,’ said Pindukai.

Coronavirus is an airborne disease that has claimed several thousands of people with Europe as its epicenter.

Among the countries worst affected are Italy, Spain and Germany among others while China also recorded several deaths.

Locally, two cases were officially confirmed resulting in one death with neighboring countries such as Zambia, South Africa being among countries affected.