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Government to act on basic goods prices

by Staff reporter
22 Apr 2020 at 07:38hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT is expected to announce a moratorium on prices of selected basic commodities after Cabinet concluded deliberations on the matter. Cabinet made this resolution during its 12th meeting yesterday where it tackled issues relating to the country's Covid-19 preparedness and response.

The country has identified 13 Covid-19 isolation centres countrywide which will be used to admit a projected five percent critical Covid-19 patients who may require to be hospitalised in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

In the post-Cabinet briefing, it was also revealed that the Covid-19 Call Centre that President Mnangagwa recently launched in Harare has received more than 3 000 calls, proving its importance.

Among the issues discussed during the Cabinet meeting, was the need to provide incentives for all frontline workers as agreed and the insurance sector has already availed about $16 million free cover for the health sector.

Furthermore, the insurance industry has also availed $1,5 million towards the fight against Covid-19 in the country.

Said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa: "In view of the foregoing, Cabinet agreed as follows: the discussions on the proposed moratorium on prices identified basic commodities, these were concluded and an announcement in this regard will be made in due course. As this is a State of Disaster, all workers are compelled to provide service as required and that the agreed risk allowances, insurance and other incentives be availed as per agreement."

She said to ensure that Cabinet's resolution that 40 000 tests are done by the end of April, health testing labs would be engaged to complement and bridge the personal gaps that may arise in the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Government has come up with laws to regulate importation and exportation of goods.

"We have the enactment of Statutory Instrument 90 of 2020 to control goods, general imports and export licences of Covid-19 goods as well as Statutory Instrument 92 of 2020 to regulate standard adherence in the manufacture and supply of personal protective equipment and materials," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said the country has made some notable improvements in testing for Covid-19 and the numbers are set to increase as the country received more tests equipment. Minister Mutsvangwa said Vice President Kembo Mohadi briefed Cabinet on what has been done to fight Covid-19. S

he said some notable developments include testing of more than 2 700 samples within one week.

Minister Mutsvangwa said more tests are expected to be conducted in the coming days as the country has received more tests kits. "The receipt of a total of 4 499 rapid results test kits from Namibia on 15 April 2020 and their subsequent distribution to provinces.

Furthermore, 6 000 additional rapid results kits have been procured through United National Development Programme, Global Fund and Innscor with each of them of the availing 3 000 kits.

10 000 GeneXpert cartridges are expected into the country today with a further 20 000 GeneXpert cartridges being procured by Unicef to help in the rolling out of testing for Covid-19 to the provincial and district levels," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"Consignments of 18 800 extraction kits and some laboratory consumables have also been received from Jack Ma Foundation and World Health Organisation on 18 April 2020."

She said President Mnangagwa's recently launched Call Centre was serving its purpose while the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was also setting up a platform to ensure that pupils do not lose out in their studies due to the lockdown.

"The launch by his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe ED Mnangagwa of the 2023 Covid-19 call centre at Newlands on 16 April 2020. Since the launch of that call centre a total of 3 800 calls have been attended to."

She said going forward, the Government would be providing daily Covid-19 updates.


Source - chronicle

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