Councils move to implement coronavirus policies 

Source: Councils move to implement coronavirus policies | The Herald

Councils move to implement coronavirus policies

Herald Reporters

Local authorities across the provinces are moving swiftly to implement laid down health policies to protect their areas with a Kwekwe nurse who recently returned from an overseas trip now in isolation at home with her son and a Masvingo woman isolated at home waiting for results.

Beitbridge Rural District Council is ensuring that all 16 clinics have nurses trained to cope with suspected cases.

The Kwekwe nurse started complaining of chest pains while at work after she returned from Portugal where she had visited her husband.

She notified authorities and the Kwekwe District Civil Protection Unit met and was told by the district environmental health officer Vitalis Kwashira that the woman and her son were in self-quarantine waiting for the results.

He said the son had no signs or symptoms of Covid-19, but they had taken his samples for tests since he was in close contact with his mother.

“There is no need for panic, we took specimens for one nurse and no other nurses have presented any symptoms consistent with Covid-19,” said Mr Kwashira.

Mr Kwashira said they have been monitoring about a 100 travellers who came into the city.

He said there were seven more travellers who were still unaccounted for after they provided fictitious residential addresses and contact numbers.

The Masvingo woman from Mucheke suburb, who is a regular traveller to South Africa, visited Masvingo General Hospital after experiencing persistent dry coughs although she returned from South Africa at the beginning of the month.

After a delay as nurses asked for protective clothing, the woman had specimens taken for testing.

Masvingo provincial medical director Dr Amadeous Shamu yesterday said they took specimens from the woman as a precautionary measure since investigations revealed she was a regular traveller to South Africa where Covid-19 cases have been rising. She was released for self-isolation at her home while waiting for results today.

“However, there was really nothing to suggest she had the virus because she did not show other symptoms such as high temperatures, her temperature and fever was normal. Her problem was just coughing and as a precautionary measure we took specimens for tests in Harare and we expect results by midday tomorrow(today),’’said Dr Shamu.

Beitbridge Rural District Council has ensured its 16 rural health centres have nursing staff trained to handle suspected cases of coronavirus and has escalated awareness campaigns.

The local authority has also banned public gatherings, ordered business to provide sanitisers, and reviewed the conduct of public sales.

Chief executive, Mr Peter Moyo said they were not taking any chances, but noted that the rural majority in the council area had to be hard at work in the fields.

The population is estimated to stand at over 160 000. Mr Moyo said they will keep mobilising resources to ensure they measure up to the task.

“Observing the National Policy of Covid-19 pandemic preventative strategy and considering the experiences of other players, there is a clear need to take additional steps to make sure that coronavirus does not spread within our local authority area and the nation at large,” he said.

“The following areas will be in force with immediate effect and we request all responsible authorities to assist in enforcement of the status and violation of which will attract litigation.

“These include the temporary suspension of selling activities until further notice and in addition to that cattle sales will continue under supervision to ensure that buyers and sellers are attended to within the shortest possible time”.

All businesses, local government institutions and public transporters, the official said must ensure that they provide sanitisers or disinfectants for their clients.

He said in terms of the rural health centres, temporary quarantine points had been established to manage cases as and when they arise.

“We will continue reviewing the measures in line with the national responsiveness. At the same time, we encourage people to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary situations,” said the official.

In Masvingo, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has installed a public scanner at Benjamin Burombo Government complex to check on staff and visitors while Masvingo City Council has completed the renovation of Rujeko Clinic in the city which was designated as the provincial coronavirus isolation centre.

Speaking during a Covid-19 provincial state of preparedness Press conference on Monday, Minister of State for Masvingo Ezra Chadzamira said the scanner was motivated by the high human traffic at the complex.

“Following the declaration of Covid-19 outbreak as a State of National Disaster by President Mnangagwa on March 19, 2020, the provincial civil protection committee has scaled up awareness to prevent the pandemic. So far, we have managed to buy a Covid-19 scanner in an effort to manage public health at the main Government offices in the city,” he said.

Masvingo Province should continue to be on high alert of the deadly virus despite having not reported any Covid-19 case to date.

Upgrading of Rujeko Clinic into an isolation centre had been completed with three more such centres to be identified soon as preparedness continue to be scaled up.

The local media was encouraged to report about the pandemic responsibly to avoid instilling panic within the public.

Masvingo acting mayor Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa said council had wholly-funded renovation of Rujeko Clinic to become the province’s first isolation centre.

“We are happy that we completed renovation on time and what remains is now to fully-equip the isolation centre and also to staff it to be able to handle any cases that might arise.”

Identification of three more such centres across the province is expected to go a long way in making sure the province was fully-geared to handle any situation that might arise.

Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe yesterday announced a raft of measures in response to Covid-19.

In a statement to stakeholders in the sugar industry, THZ said staff at its various workstations would be scaled down immediately leaving only critical staff with the majority working from home.

The firm which has an estimated employee population of over 20 000 announced that a Covid-19 management team under the sugar producer had been set up to issue information on the virus to various stakeholders.

Workers involved in such tasks as cane planting have been placed in smaller groups of about seven each and armed with protective clothing.

The sugar producer urged indigenous cane out grower farmers to follow suit to avoid spread of the disease.

Visits to THZ offices by stakeholders will with immediate effect be very limited with only those with prior approval set to be allowed into the firm’s premises to reduce face to face encounters.