By Mary Taruvinga
THE Health Ministry has announced that all private companies that reopened for business Monday should procure their own COVID-19 rapid test kits for their employees in order to expedite the screening process of the deadly virus.
Many formal companies reopened for business Monday after a five-week national lockdown meant to halt the spread of COVID-19.
However, the government has ordered that every company reopening should allow employees to undergo mandatory testing before operations start.
“As announced by President ED Mnangagwa the re-opening of industry and commerce during the lockdown extension effective 4 May 2020 is premised in the mandatory testing of employers and employees,” Health Ministry secretary, Agnes Mahomwa said.
She said designated public health facilities that conduct routine screening and medical examinations for workers will now also conduct testing.
“To expedite the testing process, companies are encouraged to procure the COVID-19 rapid test kits for themselves, guided by the ministry in terms of test kits specifications. Employers must arrange with the designated testing facilities (public and private) for their employees to be tested at an agreed time at the facilities or at the workplace,” she said.
Mahomva added companies should ensure that they have adequate space and conditions for testing, social distancing, infection prevention and control, and privacy.
However, the informal sector through which the majority of Zimbabweans earn a living, remains closed.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases remains at 34. Last week the Health Ministry said it had erroneously announced that cases had risen to 40 before it revised the numbers down.