‘Official Covid-19 statistics neither exaggerated nor downplayed’
Government has never misrepresented or understated figures on Covid-19 infections and deaths in the country and is receiving and relaying accurate statistics from a well-oiled system starting from district to national level on a daily basis.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro yesterday dispelled assertions from some quarters that Government was understating the number of deaths from the deadly pandemic. He said such reports were false, mischievous and a clear attempt to cause alarm and despondency in the country.
Dr Mangwiro said there was no way Government would conceal Covid-19 deaths and the situation being presented by authorities, was neither exaggerated nor downplayed. Government had a well organised health system that was giving accurate information on all Covid-19 cases.
“Government has got representation all over the country. Our health system is well organised from the minister, it goes to the deputy minister, permanent secretary and each town has got a representative and each province has a representative called a provincial medical director,” he said.
The deputy minister clarified how the system was getting information right from rural health centres to national level.
“A provincial medical director has got a direct link to district hospitals which are manned by district medical officers.
“Each district hospital is responsible for clinics under that district and has got a direct link to the rural health centres.
“Our systems are so well organised, well-oiled such that we collect data easily. We get accurate figures and information every time we need it.”
He warned some alarmists over giving wrong information, especially on social media, to cause unnecessary panic.
“We should not play around with death. Zimbabweans are dying because of Covid-19. It’s the truth. The picture is not exaggerated. It is what it is.”
He warned Zimbabweans to be on high alert against the spread of the pandemic.
“Zimbabweans should be alert. I hope that we do not lose more people to this pandemic.
“Let us continue to mask up, let’s continue to sanitise and maintain social distance. Let’s stay at home and let’s avoid crowding.
“I know people want to travel but let’s take Covid-19 seriously. People who are saying we are exaggerating figures are trying to tell people that there is no Covid-19,” he said. He said the Ministry of Health and Child Care would continue collecting accurate information from grassroots.
“I don’t know why a person assumes that Government is telling lies. The figures that we are bringing are a cumulative of what is really happening on the ground.
“The Government always gives people accurate figures because this is a serious case. Yesterday, 20 people died and its correct.
“We take figures from all our provinces, all our districts and then publish them. These are correct figures, real time figures which we are giving out to the public,” said Dr Mangwiro.
Social media reports have over the past few days, falsely claimed that Government is manipulating figures to achieve certain objectives.
Some people have been claiming that Government has been exaggerating figures to justify the extension of the national lockdown while others are alleging that the figures are being understated to conceal the true extent of the situation.
Government has, however, indicated that it is keen to see normal business resume as soon as possible to boost the economy but will only sanction this development once the situation stabilises as public health is the priority at the moment.