Be wary of fake masks: doctors


©️ AS THE country steps up its fight against the deadly coronavirus, a leading physician has warned Zimbabweans to beware of fake face masks and testing kits.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday the founder of Trauma Centre in Harare, Vivek Solanki, also discouraged people against wearing masks unnecessarily — particularly as Zimbabwe was likely to need more than one million masks going forward.

“We do have test kits, but the existing ones are not enough as the manufacturers of these items need to be paid, hence the appeal for more donations and assistance.

“However, my fear is that we might end up getting fake or sub-standard testing kits and masks, because as a nation we are susceptible to fake materials since everyone is now in the business of importing Covid-19 products.

“We need to be wary as a country because there are unscrupulous businesses importing all sorts of Covid-19 protective equipment,” Solanki told the Daily News.

Meanwhile, the Trauma Centre founder is leading the private sector in the recruitment of more medical personnel to help fight the lethal coronavirus.

He is also in charge of medical experts who are assessing facilities that have been identified for refurbishment, and which are to be turned into hospitals for Covid-19 patients.

“We are targeting a total of five Covid-19 centres in Harare. Wilkins is now ready for use. Mt Pleasant Clinic should be ready by Friday this week.

“Borrowdale needs two more weeks and Arundel will be ready very soon. We are also seeking to convert Parkview Clinic into one of the new centres,” Solanki said.

Turning to the recruitment of more health professionals, he said there had been “an overwhelming response” to the job notices.

“There has been an overwhelming response from frontline health workers countrywide. So far we have heard from more than 600 applicants who are willing to be part of the project to combat coronavirus.

“We should be starting the training tomorrow … which group will in turn train others … at the Covid-19 centres countrywide,” he added.

This comes as the coronavirus has killed more than 35 000 people and infected about 750 000 others worldwide.

According to the World Health Organisation, the coronavirus comes from a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

Its symptoms include pneumonia, high fever, flu, shortness of breath and diarrhoea — and the precautions that have to be taken include covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and continuously washing one’s hands.


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