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Govt to expedite Covid-19 testing, treatment & isolation centres

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2020 at 07:53hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has resolved to expedite and prioritise the establishment of Covid-19 testing, treatment and isolation centres in provinces and districts in line with the thrust of decentralisation of testing facilities.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this while briefing journalists on the 10th Cabinet meeting decision matrix in Harare yesterday.

"In order to expedite the process of testing for Covid-19, Cabinet resolved that the setting up of testing, treatment and isolation centres in provinces and districts be expedited as a matter of urgency," she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said owing to the shortage of appropriate structures in some areas, tents will be used as temporary testing, treatment and isolation centres.

She said the Ministry of Health and Child Care will also procure more rapid results test kits for the newly established testing centres.

Announcing the 21-day national lockdown last Friday, President Mnangagwa said to contain the spread of Covid-19, testing would be decentralised to provincial hubs countrywide to expedite testing and diagnostic services.

Presently, all tests are carried out at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare with confirmatory tests being taken to South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Cabinet was apprised by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima, who also chairs the Food and Water Sustainability Sub Committee, that three places of safety for the vulnerable and homeless children and families had been established at Mt Hampden, Jamaica Inn, and Beatrice Rehabilitation Centre.

"Furthermore, Government was exploring options of reopening some hotels as Isolation Centres. In addition, where necessary, Covid-19 affected persons are being supported through provision of basic necessities," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said Cabinet also considered and approved a report on the country's preparedness and response to the Corona virus outbreak, which was presented by Vice President Kembo Mohadi who is the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Covid-19.

"Cabinet commended the general public for positively heeding the clarion call by His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa to stay at their homes for 21 days with effect from 30 March, 2020. Cabinet also approved the establishment by the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Covid-19 of eight Sub-Committees, namely: Implementation and Monitoring; Public Health Strategy and Infrastructure; Information and Communication; Materials Production; Food and Water Sustainability and Distribution; Law and Order; Resource Mobilisation and Coordination; and Logistics," said the Minister.

She said other notable achievements in Zimbabwe following the declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation entail the launch of a US$2,2 billion Domestic and Humanitarian Appeal for Assistance for the period from April 2020 to April 2021 by President Mnangagwa. Part of this will go towards the containment of the global pandemic, the holding of advocacy meetings between the President, traditional, religious and business leaders in order to solicit for their support in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

"The Meetings have resulted in religious leaders offering Government the use of their facilities such as hospitals, clinics, schools and churches, while the business community has shown willingness to partner Government by offering to renovate and refurbish some hospitals and other buildings into Covid-19 isolation centres and the commitment by development partners to support Government and mobilise assistance towards recovery from the impacts of Cyclone Idai, Covid-19 and the drought," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"After presentation by Lands, Agriculture, Water, and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri, Cabinet noted with satisfaction that the water flows in the Zambezi River had been improving significantly over the past weeks with the flows at Victoria Falls rising from 3 840 cubic metres per second on the 26th of March 2020 to 4 270 cubic metres per second as at the 2nd of April 2020."

Minister Mutsvangwa said it was noted the improved water levels would result in the Victoria Falls becoming more scenic and thereby attracting more tourists.

"Also, this will result in increased water levels at the Kariba Dam which bodes well for electricity supplies," she said.

Source - New Ziana