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The coronavirus claimed its first victim in Zimbabwe on Monday, leaving many stunned and shaken.

Two cases had only been recorded last week and most of us never imagined that we would be talking of death in our country within a few days.

I’m sure we found comfort in the fact that there had been no COVID-19 deaths in Southern Africa and so we thought those who had tested positive would recover or at least fight a little bit longer.

Maybe we also fooled ourselves into believing the myth that the virus kills no black men, let alone young ones. We were so wrong!

We also forgot that our healthcare system is literally on intensive care and that when the virus rears its ugly head, we will be left wailing or with jaws dropped.

The late Zororo Makamba, a 30-year-old media personality, succumbed to the virus at Harare’s Wilkins Hospital.

Makamba was not only the first casualty of coronavirus but was also a victim of government’s negligence and lack of seriousness in dealing with the deadly virus.

The hospital, which is the main isolation centre in the country, has no running water, no basic equipment and drugs and is far from resembling a health centre capable of handling such cases.

It has no ventilators, which are essential for Covid-19 patients, while some of its rooms have no sockets, which means nothing electrical can function.

According to the late Makamba’s brother, people should not bother seeking help from the hospital as they will just become yet another death statistic like his brother.

“If you go to Wilkins, you will die,” he was quoted saying in one of the local newspapers, adding that patients are not being assisted with anything as nurses and doctors are so demoralised such that they cannot be bothered by anything.

No wonder a Thai man who was admitted there almost two weeks ago decided to run away. He probably saw that he had a higher chance of losing his life if he continued being in the death hole they call a hospital.

It’s a pity that some people are not moved by Makamba’s death as they feel he was let down by his own people as he was a praise singer of the ruling party.

He may have been a Zanu PF person and may have seen nothing wrong with this regime which has run down the country but his death has been a painful reminder of how this government simply does not care about its people and their welfare, supporters and all!

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