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Expedite Covid-19 testing, says Mohadi

by Staff reporter
18 Apr 2020 at 07:57hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has set a target to have at least 40 000 tests done for Covid-19 by end of April, as part of efforts increase the rate of testing in the country, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has said.

Mohadi, who also chairs the Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19, called for more tests to be conducted expeditiously and for the decentralisation of testing centres.

"The situation that we are in is dire and very difficult to comprehend. So far, we have 24 cases nationwide and three fatalities, but that doesn't mean those are the only people. We haven't done much testing as we would have wanted to do. I have set myself with my team a target of 40 000 by end of April and from that number we'll see how many people would have confirmed positive," he said.

Mohadi said Government is in the process of distributing more testing kits across the country.

"We are distributing quite a lot of testing equipment that is the rapid result equipment and also the PCR, which are the confirming machines. We want every province to do the tests and send them for confirmation," he said.

"The good part of it is that in the districts we have what we call the GeneXpert machines available for testing with the right cartridges. They are designed to detect tuberculosis virus and can also be used to detect the coronavirus given right cartridge, which we are going to feed into the GeneXpert machines to enhance our testing capacity," said the VP.

Mohadi toured Ekusileni Medical Centre, Thorngrove Hospital and Mpilo Central Hospital to assess the city's state of preparedness to handle Covid-19.

"My mission here in Bulawayo is to check on the state of preparedness and whether we are prepared as Zimbabweans to combat this pandemic. I have been sending ministers to check and usually you need to do spot checks yourself and a lot still needs to be done in terms of capacitating our health institutions," he said.

Mohadi said Government is committed to provide front line health workers such as doctors and nurses among others with personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety as they attend to Covid-19 patients. He said from observing the situation as he went through the city centre, it appeared residents were heeding the lockdown.

Source - chronicle