THE Health and Child Care ministry has started distributing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in preparation for the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has so far claimed 2 461 lives and infected 79 930 globally.
This comes after Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo recently told the media that should any infections be recorded in Zimbabwe, the country is adequately stocked with the ARV, Kaletra, that has proven to be effective in treating the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Addressing legislators during the National Assembly on Thursday, Moyo said they have started distributing the ARV to treatment centres as part of the ministry’s preparedness.
“I want to indicate to the honourable members here present that please be aware of the fact that there is no vaccine yet for the control of Covid-19.
“At the moment, I want to also indicate that we are lucky that we have that Kaletra available here in Zimbabwe and we have made sure that it is distributed to all our treatment centres. What we are building on is the availability of the booster the alpha-interferon and we should be having it by next week, but with the Kaletra, we can be able to manage the patients with ease,” Moyo said.
Currently, the ministry is monitoring over 3 000 people that have been to affected countries with close to 2 000 of those being students studying in China.
No cases of the deadly epidemic have been recorded so far.
Meanwhile, the minister told the National Assembly that government is still looking for US$5,2 million needed for coronavirus preparedness.
“I would like to indicate that a budget was prepared and submitted to the ministry of Finance which stands at US$5,2 million, but this will be availed to us in tranches,” he said.
Moyo added that government has, however, been receiving assistance from the World Health Organisation and is also looking forward to getting support from the Chinese Embassy which has indicated its willingness to assist in sprucing up Wilkins Hospital.