Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Government now has adequate kits to test the targeted 1 000 samples of suspected Covid-19 cases per day following the delivery of missing reagents from the Jack Ma Foundation donation of 20 000 test kits.
The reagents and the remaining consignment have since been delivered.
Government also received 3 000 rapid test kits, which have since been deployed to the provinces.
Additional test kits were also received from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Africa Centre for Disease Control.
“So, if we look at what we have, it is the right moment for us to say let’s ramp up our testing,” said Secretary for Health and Child Care, Dr Agnes Mahomva.
“The public wanted us to ramp up our testing and we have also said many times that we wanted to test more, so we were on the same page, but we just didn’t have enough kits, hence we focused on prioritising a certain group using the WHO case definition.”
Dr Mahomva said the 1 000 tests target per day was arrived at after a statistical modelling by experts who calculated the number of people who could get positive by the end of the month.
She said Government has since started mass testing using the revised criteria, starting with the gated community in Bulawayo where case number 11 resided.
All returning residents from countries experiencing local transmissions are also being tested.
“So we think this new strategy will assist us to better understand the magnitude of our burden for better response,” she said.
Dr Mahomva dismissed another modelling that is circulating on social media projecting nearly 14 million infections in Zimbabwe in the next 250 days.
Dr Mahomva said if one did modelling with the wrong assumptions, they will get misleading projections “and I must say that modelling is a bit misleading”.
“We are saying, let us do things the right way so that we get the right data,” she said.