AfricaCorona VirusZimbabwe

Zimbabwe warns medical facilities over contravening Public Health Act

By Almot Maqolo

Zimbabwean government says all hospitals both public and private must admit all patients without the pre-requirement of a Covid-19 test and proceed to do a PCR test on admission in order to determine whether the patient will be further managed in the green or red zone.

This comes after some private and public institutions are refusing to admit patients who have no Covid-19 test results.“This is contrary to provisions of the Public Health Act and Government warns those medical facilities who have been contravening this Act,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a media briefing.

She said payment modalities for all non-health frontline staff allowances which are being finalized.“The allowances will be paid according to the different risk categories which are low, medium and high. The non-health frontline workers will receive their allowances backdated since they had not yet started receiving these,” she said, adding that embassy staff is to be also considered as frontline workers as they are involved in repatriations.

This past week, the nation witnessed a further jump in its confirmed cases with local cases statistics as of 2 July 2020 standing 2828, a 98% increase from last week’s figure of 1426. Most of the local cases are in Harare (1227), Bulawayo (897), Midlands Province (237) and Mash East (157).

“The Covid-19 war is now in our communities and we have to increase our vigilance and the need to adhere to protective and preventative measures cannot be over emphasized. The more we get into crowds, the more we expose ourselves to Covid-19,” Mutsvangwa said.

In light of the rising Covid-19 figures which indicate increased risk in communities, the number of PCR tests done per week has doubled with average tests per day standing at 1,130 as compared to 559 from the week ending 24 July 2020.

Mutsvangwa said the government will continue to increase testing levels in order to ensure that those who are at risk and have been exposed receive the medical attention they need. “As such, the Ministry of Health and Child Care will be flighting a 72 hour tender on the 4th of August 2020 for the procurement of 4 PCR machines, 220 000 PCR test kits, 25 000 antigen RDTs and other laboratory consumables. The USD5.6 million already allocated by Government will be utilised for this procurement,” she said.

An analysis of Covid-19 hotspots continues to be made across the country in order to channel the proper resources to these hotspots. The latest hotspots to be analyzed are the Fresh Vegetable markets in Harare and Bulawayo. “It was noted that persons from different environs visit these markets and testing would give an indication of infection rates,” she said.

This errant behavior in the form of continued disregard of Covid-19 containment measures which includes physical distancing, wearing of face masks and sanitization is also being witnessed in public spaces such as supermarkets, malls and banking halls.

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