Conrad Mupesa Herald Correspondent
Zimbabwe has better chances of curtailing the spread of Covid-19 if people self-isolate and stay at home for the next three weeks as directed by President Mnangagwa in his Friday’s televised address, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this during a meeting with Mashonaland West provincial and district heads in Chinhoyi yesterday on the State’s preparedness and the Covid-19 taskforce’s expected roles.
She is also a member of the National Taskforce on Covid-19 committee.
Zimbabwe has seven confirmed cases of Covid-19, with one death, while the world has recorded more than 20 000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of infections.
“The first and best remedy to the pandemic is staying at home, as this will reduce the spread of the virus and cut possible new infections,” said Minister Mutsvangwa. “The virus is best contained and controlled if people avoid unnecessary movements.
“If people suspect that they have been infected, they should avoid panicking, isolate themselves and make use of the emergency toll free number (2019) as rapid response teams assigned to the task force will respond swiftly. The local rapid response teams will then advise the patient on the way forward.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the nation was geared to fight the pandemic following the establishment of 30 facilities earmarked for use for serious and severe cases countrywide.
She said the provincial and district task forces were expected to meet whenever it was necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
“There are no stipulated times and dates that the task forces are supposed to meet, as the pandemic requires the teams’ full attention,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said allowances for the teams, which were still to come should not hold back work.
“The completion of 67 temporary make shifts for isolation will also determine testing in the areas set up following the decentralisation of Covid-19 testing centres,” she said.
Health care services related to Covid-19 at all Government health institutions will be availed to the nation for free, said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The pandemic has led to complete lockdown of a number of nations, with Zimbabwe starting today, except for personnel offering essential services.
Speaking during the same meeting, Mashonaland West Provincial Minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, underscored the need for self-isolation and urged members of the community to consider staying at home for the full 21-day lockdown as directed by the President.
Mashonaland West provincial medical director, Dr Stancellus Nyamayaro, said although the province was geared towards curbing the spread of COVID-19, attention should be given to Charles Prince Airport where private airplanes land.
He said through such kinds of ports, the probability that the pandemic would spread were high.
The province, said Dr Nyamayaro, received surgical masks, operating suits, respirators and face masks from the Ministry of Health and Child Care to protect its personnel from the virus.
A number of health institutions and places have been designated for isolation purposes with, Alaska Stadium in Chinhoyi and Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba to act as isolation centres in the event that there were spill-overs.
Provincial development coordinator, Cecilia Chitiyo, said the civil protection unit was failing to make in-roads in areas such as Sanyati and Kariba due to the unavailability of fuel.
Minister Mutsvangwa promised to look into the matter, together with other members of the National Task Force.