Good evening my fellow Zimbabweans
Today the National Taskforce on COVID19 met and received reports from its Subcommittees and also deliberated on the following matters:
• HEALTH STRATEGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Whilst focusing on protecting the nation from COVID19, Government has not lost sight of other health challenges bedeviling our communities. It is in this context that the Taskforce noted with sadness the Typhoid and Dysentery in some Bulawayo suburbs. So far, Bulawayo has reported five community and seven hospital deaths. Government has therefore embarked on an intensive bulk water trucking programme to affected communities. Water samples from these areas are also undergoing analysis.
On another note, Government values the safety of health workers and their families. To protect frontline workers’ families from possible infections, Crown Plaza, Marondera Hotel and Khayela Guest Lodge are being used for quarantining frontline staff at Government’s expense.
The Taskforce was informed that Treasury has concurred to the recruitment of an additionally 500 health workers including doctors, nurses, and technicians for ICU/HDU and Isolation centres across the country. This recruitment will go a long way in boosting our health services’ capacity to respond and treat COVID19 cases.
• QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION FACILITIES
The country has witnessed a surge in positive cases, especially among returnees. There are 1770 returnees in quarantine facilities across the country, with the highest number of returnees being housed in Harare.
The Taskforce has noted that while the standard procedure according to WHO guidelines is the self-solation of asymptomatic positive cases, there are some cases that are unable to self-isolate in their homes. Such cases are being housed at isolation centres intended for those who require treatment. It has also been noted that there are some cases that have the capacity to self-isolate but are not adhering to self-isolation protocols and are putting communities at risk.
We have recommended that all positive cases at private and public quarantine facilities be moved to specific isolation centres in order to prevent the further spread of COVID19.
• MATERIALS PRODUCTION SUBCOMMITEE
The National Taskforce was informed by the Subcommittee that the demand for sanitizers has increased due to the national requirement that all entities have sanitizer /wash facilities at entry points. Let me take this opportunity to commend the nation for adhering to COVID19 preventative and protective measures such as hand washing and sanitizing.