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Govt deploys COVID-19 testing machine at Beitbridge

by Staff reporter
16 Jul 2020 at 07:38hrs | Views
A high volume PCR machines has been moved to Beitbridge with a capacity to conduct about 1 200 diagnostic tests a day, with a second sent to Gwanda and capable of the same work rate.

In an interview, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said the move was in line with Government's plan to decentralise diagnostic tests for Covid-19 and improve efficiency, particularly in the province which house the busiest entry point being used by returnees, Beitbridge.

The redeployment of the machines should allow returnees to be quickly tested, and remove the temptation to abscond when long delays in testing kept them in their quarantine centres.

He said a similar machine, which conducts a further 1 200 tests a day, was also sent to Gwanda Hospital, where some samples were also being taken.

"So with those two big machines, we can do up to 2 400 tests in a day," said Dr Mangwiro.

Additionally, added Dr Mangwiro, Beitbridge will receive 5 000 test kits to run on these machines.

"We have found out that there was a testing bottleneck and people end up sneaking into the country so these tests are going to help us combat this challenge.

"We are also making sure that the testing even at our isolation centres or quarantine centres is done timely so that people get results immediately and we prevent spread of Covid-19," said Dr Mangwiro.

The country continues to rump up its testing for Covid-19, which is the current recommended intervention to combat spread of the virus. Over the weekend, the country received 30 000 PCR test kits for diagnostics from the Communist Party of China, Chinese industries and Chinese enterprises based in Zimbabwe.

These kits, combined with many others donated by several other partners are expected to improve the country's testing capacity as well as fulfilling its commitment to test returnees upon arrival, on day 8 and after 21 days.

To date, Government has conducted 36 916 PCR tests and 52 068 rapid diagnostic tests (RDT). Since the onset of the Covid 19 outbreak on 20 March 2020, the total number of confirmed cases is now 985 with 328 recoveries and 18 deaths.

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Source - the herald