…authorities want testing kits for each district
Five of the 316 Covid-19 tests conducted throughout the country by 02 April were from Masvingo province, with all of them coming back negative, TellZim has learnt.
Addressing a press briefing at Benjamin Burombo, the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Ezra Chadzamira said people should, however, not grow complacent as the risk of several positive cases remained very high.
“Of all the cumulative number of tests conducted in the country, five were from this province. It is a good thing that we have not had positive cases, but that should not make us too comfortable since the risk remains very high,” said Chadzamira.
The minister, who also chairs the Masvingo Provincial Covid-19 Taskforce which comprises several subcommittees, said authorities aimed to mobilise testing kits for each of the province’s seven districts.
“The idea is to capacitate each district to conduct its own tests as part of the decentralisation of the testing process. The fight against the spread of coronavirus demands more rigourous testing than what currently is happening,” Chadzamira said.
Currently, all tests are conducted at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory in Harare.
Chadzamira said authorities were currently seized with resource-mobilisation aimed at boosting the isolation centre being created at Rujeko Clinic.
Chadzamira said government understood the damage that the national lockdown has wrought on livelihoods especially on informal traders who survive hand-to-mouth. He said authorities were looking at ways of allowing limited numbers of women to sell their products at shopping centres in a controlled manner.
“Those who sell perishables are the most hard-hit and we understand their pain. We are looking at the feasibility of allowing a small number of women to sell each day,” he said.
South Africa, which is also under lockdown, has now allowed informal food traders to do business, but they are required to apply for a licence first.