MISA Demands Sufficient Information On COVID-19

Ronald Chigwada

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has filed an urgent High Court application against the Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Chiwenga and the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa to compel them to disseminate information on Covid-19 testing, isolation and treatment programmes.

In the application filed, MISA Zimbabwe noted that information being disseminated on the current public health situation across the nation is lacking the essence of awareness in informing the public as it is insufficient and uninformative.

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MISA Zimbabwe also pointed out that there is no information advising the public of the new variant of COVID-19, its pathology and whether such a variant has been detected in Zimbabwe. Moreover there is no information as to whether the ministry of Health and Child Care is testing for the new COVID-19 variant.
“The amount of cross-border interaction with South Africa makes Zimbabwe particularly susceptible to exposure”, said MISA

Critical to public awareness, the media watchdog organisation further added that there is no information as to the statistics emanating from privately owned health care providers on number of tests that have been conducted by those facilities, the attendant results, location, gender age, and various aggregation of those results around.

In order to reduce the impact of the virus awareness and daily updates are useful, as researchers at the World Health Organisation ( WHO) noted that the viriant is 50% more transmittable and dangerous as compared to the first one.

In April 2020 the High Court ordered the two ministries to publish and disseminate on all available platforms, the daily COVID-19 updates in all the official languages.

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