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Zimbabwe govt urged to ramp up COVID-19 testing

by Staff reporter
14 Apr 2020 at 21:52hrs | Views
The chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Health, Ruth Labode, yesterday urged the government to ramp up the testing of more people ahead of the looming winter season. As of Sunday, we had only tested 547 people - a measly figure..

This comes as doctors have warned that positive cases of the deadly coronavirus in the country are set to rise sharply in the final days of the current lockdown, as the disease will have blossomed locally by then.

Three people have so far died from the lethal disease which has killed nearly 120 000 people around the world.

"The government is doing a commendable thing on opening isolation centres … However, our problem is that we are not doing enough tests.

"The missing link is testing. If winter arrives before we do enough testing, we are going to have a disaster.

"Winter comes with ideal conditions for any flue, and so as a country we must do enough testing as winter approaches," Labode told the Daily News.

Yesterday, the government said it would continue monitoring locals returning to the country from the diaspora and areas hit by the coronavirus.

This followed the return of 30 people to the country, who were sent straight into mandatory quarantine.

"The government policy clearly states that we cannot shut out Zimbabweans who are coming from outside the country.

"The government policy also stipulates that all Zimbabweans who are coming from outside the country should be subjected to mandatory quarantine for 21 days, in efforts to stop the spread of the virus, and that is what we are doing.

"We are subjecting every Zimbabwean returning to the country to 21 days of quarantine at various centres across the country," government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said.

"Thirty Zimbabweans arrived aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight today (yesterday). They are coming from a number of different countries and all of them are being compulsorily quarantined at Zipam in Darwendale," he added.

Source - dailynews