US$500k for Wilkins refurbishment

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CHINESE private companies in Zimbabwe have allocated US$500 000 for the refurbishment of the Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital, which houses an isolation facility for the handling of coronavirus (Covid-19) disease in Harare.
This comes as there is growing concern over whether Zimbabwe — which has recorded two confirmed cases of the disease — is adequately prepared to deal with the outbreak.
Speaking during the refurbishment project held at the Chinese Embassy in Harare recently, Jin An Corporation managing director David Zhou said work on refurbishment of the hospital had already begun and is expected to be complete in 10 days.
“Our budget for the refurbishment of the hospital is currently US$500 000 — which is half a million United States Dollars — but we think there might be changes because we might want to do more for the hospital.
“For now, time is of most importance … We have an assignment we need to finish quickly. If we still have time, we can do more,” Zhou said.
He added that there were teams on the ground currently working flat out to beat the 10-day deadline.
“Our plan is to finish within the next 10 days. Right now, we have our guys, three teams that are working there. One team is working on the water system, the other one on construction and the last one on electric lines and renewing the lights.
“Our guys are working 24 hours a day. We are quite sure in ten days we are finishing it,” Zhou said.
Speaking at the same event, Harare City Council deputy mayor Enock Mupamawonde said the gesture from the Chinese private businesses will go a long way in assisting the nation to be prepared to deal with coronavirus.
“As a representative of the City of Harare, which is a recipient of this donation from the Chinese embassy through its businesses, I would like to express my gratitude.
“As City of Harare, we are ready to receive this donation. We are happy that the businesses are committed to ensure that the work will be completed within the shortest period of time of not more than 10 days which is remarkably impressive.
“Our focus will be enhancing preventative measures as we ensure that the disease does not spread,” Mupamawonde said.
Meanwhile, Unicef, in partnership with the government, has facilitated the training of 300 health workers from across Zimbabwe’s provinces on case management of Covid-19, cholera, typhoid and other infectious diseases.
The training, which is part of the UKAid-assisted project on strengthening preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks in Zimbabwe, is aimed at building the capacity of key frontline health workers by providing updated training on Covid-19, cholera and typhoid, and other infectious diseases.
Unicef’s chief of health Paul Ngwakum said that conducting training is an efficient way to prepare for and tackle the disease, particularly in a situation of limited resources like we have in Zimbabwe.
“We don’t know the impact Covid-19 will have in Zimbabwe with many vulnerable populations, a struggling health care system and many people unable to avoid high-density living conditions. But Zimbabwe is a resilient country and we are doing all we can to support the government and partners to prepare,” he said.

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