The Government Thursday launched COVID-19 Zimbabwe National Preparedness and Response Plan (NPRP), a move that will go a long way in combining efforts in the fight against the virus that has become an international pandemic.
Launching the NPRP at State House in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the Ministry of Health and Childcare, working with multiple partners, has developed an easy-to-implement emergency response plan.
“Today we are gathered here to launch the COVID-19 Zimbabwe National Preparedness and Response Plan (NPRP),” the President said.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care, with technical support from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners has developed an easy-to-implement NPRP guided by the eight pillars of WHO strategic preparedness and response plan.
“This plan will enable us to have an integrated and co-ordinated management system that will focus on preventing COVID-19 outbreak in Zimbabwe and mitigate the severity of the virus.”
He urged all stakeholders to contribute to this national cause in different capacities of the political, economic and social sphere.
Government, he added, cannot afford to ignore the pandemic that has resulted in the decline of the economies of trading partners adding everyone, regardless of age, is at risk of getting infected by the virus.
“I address you this morning regarding the issue of paramount global and national importance. This is an issue of a serious pandemic which we cannot afford to ignore.
“In the last few weeks, we have seen a dramatic decline in the economic activities of our major trading partners, a drop in international tourism and severe instability across the globe due to this pandemic.
“Although global evidence is suggesting that the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are at risk, COVID-19 has been shown to affect everyone including children, young men and young women,” President Mnangagwa said.
Government, he added, is committed to tackle the virus as surveillance and early detection mechanisms have been put in place.
“My Government is very much committed to stopping COVID-19 following declaration of this outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern by WHO,” said President Mnangagwa.
“My Government, through the Ministry of Health and Child Care, has put in place measures to minimise the import of COVID-19 into the country and ensure health safety to all citizens.
“The National Emergency Prepared and Response mechanism for surveillance and early detection of any possible cases was activated and will remain active until after WHO has removed the global health alert.”
The world over, the President added, governments have activated their emergency response mechanisms as deaths and new cases out-side China continue to increase.
The Minister of Health and Childcare, Dr Obadiah Moyo, thanked various stakeholders including China and the United Kingdom for the support being rendered to Zimbabwe in boosting the country’s response plan to the virus.
WHO country representative, Dr Alex Gasasira, said the coronavirus pandemic can be controlled and they are grateful for the strong measures already put in place by the Government of Zimbabwe.
Dr Gasasira called for a holistic approach to dealing with COVID-19.
At least 30 African countries, with seven regional countries, have recorded COVID-19 cases though Zimbabwe is yet to record any case.