RGM Airport 60 Percent Prepared For Coronavirus: Parly

The Parliamentary Committee on Health and Child Care has called on government to be more prepared to combat coronavirus at the Robert Mugabe airport saying the country’s main port of entry was porous.

Speaking after touring Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to assess the state of preparedness against corona-virus, the Portfolio Committee Chairperson Dr Ruth Labode said more still needed to be done for the airport to be fully prepared.

“Wilkins is definitely prepared, but the airport is still porous.

“More still needs to be done. I would place their preparedness at 60 percent,” said Labode.

She urged airlines to donate protective clothing, surveillance and monitoring equipment to enhance the airport’s level of preparedness.

Responding to the Parliamentarians’ concerns, Environmental Health Services manager in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Magareth Tawodzera said since the airport was under expansion, they were also looking forward to establishing an isolation unit within the airport, which she said was the best practice internationally.

Tawodzera said suspected patients were ferried by a fire ambulance to the isolation unit, where they wait to be transferred to Wilkins Hospital.

“If there is a “patient” on a flight, Port Health is advised in advance,” said Tawodzera.

Mrs Tawodzera said the travel manifesto presented by the airline also informs them beforehand on where each and every passenger would be traveling from.

Asked to comment on why Immigration workers didn’t have protective clothing, Head of Immigration at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe (RGM) International Airport Mr Evans Siziba said they had run out of supplies.

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