A consignment of 57 PCR testing machines and an assortment of medical supplies were yesterday donated by Satewave Technologies to the Government, a gift that will help the Ministry of Health and Child Care have the equipment for diagnostic tests in all centres.
Speaking at the handover of the PCR testing machines, Covid-19 test kits and 1 000 boxes of traditional Chinese medicines for Covid-19 at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare yesterday, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga said decentralisation of testing was a strategic intervention in the fight against Covid-19.
VP Chiwenga said it was encouraging that the donation had come at a time when Government was looking for partners to help in the fight against the pandemic.
“Zimbabwe like other low-resourced countries is challenged by the lack of timely access and limited availability of Covid-19 diagnostic testing resources, which could affect ongoing containment measures.
“Therefore, this donation will change the landscape of Covid-19 diagnosis, as the testing can be done throughout the country.
“The machines being received today are portable polymerase chain reaction machines, which suit both centralised laboratories and hard to reach areas,” he said.
The donated machines carry out a Covid-19 PCR test in 45 minutes thus reducing the turnaround time of conventional PCR from about five hours.
The machines also have capacity to identify different variants and come at a time when the Delta variant which was first detected in India, has been detected in Zimbabwe.
Satewave Technologies managing director Ms Maggie Feng said the donation would help the country fight the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
“The Delta variant is causing a lot of concern in the communities, as it is a variant which circulates rapidly.
“The test kits we are donating will ensure that variants are quickly picked up thereby raising awareness in the population and helping the Health Ministry to craft containment strategies,” she said.