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Govt told to subsidise COVID-19 testing

by Staff reporter
08 Jan 2021 at 07:37hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has called on government to subsidise COVID-19 testing so that it becomes affordable to every citizen to reduce cases of issuing of fake certificates.

In its December monthly monitoring report, ZPP stated that government had neglected the poor who were failing to access COVID-19 medical facilities at private medical facilities, which were charging exorbitant fees after failing to get admissions at public institutions.

Citizens who cannot afford the US$40-US$60 required by private medical practitioners to obtain certificates have resorted to fake tests, which are cheaper.

Following a spike in issuance of fake COVID-19 certificates at its ports of entry, the South African government has rejected certificates being issued by other countries including Zimbabwe, in preference to their own tests.

"At US$60 for a COVID-19 certificate, the amount is way beyond the majority and by maintaining such a high cost, government is not making it possible for most people to access testing," ZPP said.

"The test certificates must also be standardised to reduce numbers of individuals who present fake certificates at points of entry. Strict penalties must be imposed on anyone caught on the wrong side of the law, where these certificates are concerned."

Two people on Wednesday appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko on allegations of printing and selling fake COVID-19 certificates to cross-border travellers at Road Port Bus Terminus in Harare.

The duo of Takesure Kanyai (35) and Taridzi Isymol Chimhavi (26) were not asked to plead on forgery charges.

ZPP implored the government to strengthen its COVID-19 experts advisory committee to ensure that decisions made are in the best interest of citizens and that the pandemic is not used for political expedience.

Source - newsday