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Government intensifies measures to combat COVID-19

by Byron Adonis Mutingwende
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The government has intensified measure to combat COVID-19. This emerged as Cabinet considered and approved a report on the country’s preparedness and response to the Corona Virus Outbreak (COVID-19), which was presented by Honourable Vice President Mohadi, as Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Cabinet commended the general public for positively heeding the clarion call by His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa to stay at their homes for 21 days with effect from 30 March 2020. Cabinet also approved the establishment by the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on COVID-19 of eight Sub-Committees, namely: Implementation and Monitoring; Public Health Strategy and Infrastructure; Information and Communication; Materials Production; Food and Water Sustainability and Distribution; Law and Order; Resource Mobilisation and Coordination; and Logistics. These will ensure the effective and efficient execution of the Task Force’s mandate.

Other notable achievements in Zimbabwe following the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation entail the following:

  • the launch of a US$2.2 billion Domestic and Humanitarian Appeal for Assistance for the period from April 2020 to April 2021 by His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa. Part of this will go towards the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • the holding of advocacy Meetings between His Excellency the President and traditional, religious and business leaders in order to solicit for their support in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The Meetings have resulted in religious leaders offering Government the use of their facilities such as hospitals, clinics, schools and churches, while the business community has shown a willingness to partner Government by offering to renovate and refurbish some hospitals and other buildings into COVID-19 Isolation Centres; and
  • the commitment by development partners to support Government and mobilise assistance towards recovery from the impacts of Cyclone Idai and the drought, as well as COVID-19;

In order to expedite the process of testing for COVID-19, Cabinet resolved as follows:

  • that the setting up of testing, treatment and isolation centres in provinces and districts be expedited as a matter of urgency;
  • that owing to the shortage of appropriate structures in some areas, tents will be used as temporary testing, treatment and isolation centres; and
  • that the Ministry of Health and Child Care shall procure more rapid results test kits for the newly established testing centres.

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