Govt Changes COVID-19 Testing Strategy

Following complaints of delays in the COVID-19 testing process for returnees, the Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo has announced that government will now direct its limited resources towards those already in quarantine centers.

In an interview with a local media organisations, Moyo said they changed the approach last week so that close gaps that were causing unnecessary delays in the testing process.

“The complaints centered on delays in testing the returnees and where tests had been done, results were taking longer than expected to be delivered to rightful recipients.

“With effect from last week, the ministry took a deliberate approach to concentrate available resources to testing people in quarantine centres so as to alleviate challenges being faced by our people,” said Dr Moyo.

The government is continuing to prepare, procuring more drugs and equipment with the bulk of the products now being locally manufactured.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa last night gave details of progress after a national taskforce meeting held at State House.

“These essentials included personal protective equipment such as aprons, face masks and theatre gowns; supplies for the screening of Covid-19 such as infrared thermometers and disinfection materials such as knapsack sprayers. There has been no need for medications and drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients thus far, however, our medical facilities have to be ready to administer treatment to severe and critical Covid-19 cases,” she said.

“Stocks of locally produced personal protective equipment and other Covid-19 essentials are increasing and this enhances the country’s ability to combat the virus. The report mentioned that we have a company that is daily producing 4000 hospital gowns, 2500 scrubs and 6000 facial masks using waterproof cotton fabric,” she added.

It was noted that tertiary institutions had so far produced 459 295 litres of hand sanitisers with current stocks pegged at 92 977 litres. They have also produced 367 769 masks to date and currently hold stocks of 70 861.

“Government commends efforts by local companies and tertiary institutions, a national response through using mostly local resources shows that we are refocusing, recalibrating and revamping to life under Covid-)19,” she said.

To date, the country has recorded 387 cases of covid-19, 54 recoveries and four deaths with the majority being returnees from South Africa.

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