Govt to expand corona testing  

©️  THE government will shortly embark on an aggressive national testing for the lethal coronavirus (Covid-19), as authorities step up the fight against the global pandemic, the Daily News can reveal.
This comes as Zimbabwe has recorded its eighth case of people who have tested positive for the virus — as the country enters its third day of a total 21-day lockdown.
It also comes as the continent’s most industrialised country and Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, South Africa, is deploying 10 000 people full-time to conduct door-to-door corona tests within its borders in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo said the country is entering a new phase of expansive corona testing — following the latest confirmed case which authorities say signals the beginning of local infection likely to result in an upsurge in people testing positive for the virus.
“We have recorded one positive case out of the 47 cases that were being tested. This person was in contact with the man who came from Dubai.
“This is local transmission and it means we should be more aggressive, since the virus is now localised. We are going to ensure that we conduct more tests so that we cover the whole country.
“This testing is going to be expansive and it will include contact tracing to ensure that we test as many people as possible,” Moyo told the Daily News.
“I am also pleased to announce that our health personnel are now back at work, and they will be given risk allowances since they are exposed to the disease.
“Over 4 000 posts for health workers have also been unfrozen to ensure that we have adequate human capital to fight the disease.
“We are working hard together with the business community, donor partners and other well-wishers to ensure that our hospitals are well equipped,” Moyo added.
This comes as there is growing hope that Zimbabwe could successfully fight the coronavirus pandemic following a positive response to the first two days of the national lockdown which has seen ordinary people heeding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call to stay at homed during this period.
On his part, Mnangagwa has urged people to continue showing discipline during the 21-day lockdown.
“With the virus already here in Zimbabwe, we have no time to lose, we must act now. For, every day we do not act … the virus will spread, infecting more and more people.
“This 21-day lockdown is not a punishment. It cannot be avoided. It is an opportunity to save lives.
“By acting responsibly and … staying at home. By washing your hands and … keeping at least two metres distance from one another,” Mnangagwa said.
Zimbabwe recorded its first coronavirus death last week after talented television personality Zororo Makamba — who was the youngest son of telecommunications tycoon and former legendary broadcaster James Makamba — died at Wilkins Hospital.
The Makambas later narrated a heart-rending story in an exclusive interview with the Daily News about how Wilkins Hospital was ill-prepared for coronavirus — which led to them feeling “betrayed” by authorities.
Zororo’s death grabbed the attention of many people both in Zimbabwe and abroad, leading to pressure being exerted on the government to step up its coronavirus preparations.
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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