MUTARE– City fathers yesterday launched a series of coronavirus (COVID19) and anti-malaria awareness campaigns to provide residents with critical information on safety precautions.
Mutare mayor Blessing Tandi said the programme seeks to provide a critical response to the global pandemic which has since been declared a national disaster by the government.
He said the municipality was raising awareness to ensure residents follow hygiene procedures, know symptoms of the COVID19 disease and encouraging people to submit themselves for voluntary testing.
Tandi said in response to COVID19, the municipality has set aside Mutare Infectious Disease Hospital (MIDH) as a quarantine centre.
“We are taking coronavirus seriously as a disease and we need our people to be aware of the symptoms in terms of fever, flu or sore throats need to be taken seriously and into consideration because of its proximity to coronavirus.
“We are also looking at a situation where all visitors, who could have come from affected countries, we are appealing to have such people brought forward for tests so that if they are infected correct steps can be taken.
“We have played our part, putting in place the quarantine centre and the community also has its role of ensuring that any suspected case is taken for testing,” said Tandi.
This was also confirmed by the Director of Health services Dr Antony Mutara, who said the local municipality is equipping and refurbishing MIDH to meet quarantine standards and augment the national quarantine facility, if the need arises.
“We obviously have our infectious diseases hospital as a quarantine centre which we are preparing to meet the ideal standards for quarantine and infection preventions, Wilkins Hospital is our national quarantine centre.
“We are starting the process of equipping our infectious diseases hospital to meet the requirements for quarantine, if the need arises it will be ready for use,” he said.
Dr Mutara also revealed that the city has been declared a malaria zone after recording a spike in cases which broke the seasonal trends for malaria infection in the district since the beginning of the year.
He said weekly surveillance indicators showed a spike in malaria cases which required control and mitigation measures to counter the outbreak, including Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), breeding site decontamination and awareness campaigns.