Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday opened a state-of-the-art infectious diseases hospital in Kwekwe, a development that is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), which emphasises infrastructure development in tandem with global standards.
The infectious diseases hospital was constructed by Kwekwe City Council using devolution funds.
Council turned a council bar into an infectious diseases hospital.
The new-look hospital is tooled with all Covid-19-related treatment equipment and has 25 beds after the beerhall and administration rooms were redesigned and turned into hospital wards.
VP Chiwenga commended the local authority for what he said was a “rare feat” and noble change of use of an infrastructure, which should be emulated by all local authorities.
“This is a first in Kwekwe, a first in the province and a first in the country as a whole, to turn a bar into a hospital,” said VP Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care.
“Kwekwe City must be commended for this and all local authorities should emulate this.”
VP Chiwenga said the economy can only grow when manned and presided over by healthy people, adding that other local authorities should work on establishing more clinics and hospitals.
“This is a positive change use of infrastructure which must be emulated by other cities and towns in the country,” he said.
“It’s better to preserve health care than to wine and dine. I want to congratulate Kwekwe City they have done well.”
VP Chiwenga said such medical infrastructural development will contribute significantly to the attainment of an upper middle class society by 2030 as enunciated by President Mnangagwa. He bemoaned the low numbers of people who have received vaccination in Kwekwe.
VP Chiwenga said Government expected economic hubs such as Kwekwe City to attain herd immunity.
“There are economic zones like Victoria Falls and Hwange, they have already attained 100 percent herd immunity, but what is worrying is that Kwekwe, which is an industrial hub with a lot of mining activities, is still to attain herd immunity at 31 percent,” he said.
VP Chiwenga castigated individuals who were suing Government for rolling out vaccination programmes and calling for mandatory vaccination.
The individuals, whom he described as selfish, hide behind human rights and individual freedoms.
“It is disturbing to note that there are some people from here in Kwekwe who are refusing to be vaccinated and have taken Government to court against its vaccination programme,” said VP Chiwenga.
“Whilst people have their individual rights and freedoms, those rights can be limited in the interest of public health such as the Covid-19 pandemic, which is ravaging the world.
“A person can say he or she has individual rights and freedoms; it’s your right, but you don’t need to go out there and expose other people to Covid-19 because you are not vaccinated.”
VP Chiwenga said those who wanted to exercise their freedoms should not expose others by walking in public.
“Those who are suing government have their mission to set an agenda to the outside world to believe there is confusion in Zimbabwe,” he said. “No, we are trying to protect the general public, we won’t allow that.
“If it’s your right, you must stay indoors, that is what we have said. You don’t need to go out and expose others, but while inside your house, if you expose your children and wife to Covid-19 you are also answerable.”
VP Chiwenga said the fight against Covid-19 required collective efforts, including individual responsibilities.