By Idah Mhetu
GOVERNMENT will soon be testing at least 1 000 Zimbabweans every day as part of its ongoing strategies to combat the spread of coronavirus, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
She was speaking at a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday as cases of the dreaded pandemic surged to 23, up from 18, on the same day.
Mutsvangwa said government was ready to test samples totalling 40 000 per month.
“We are ready and we intend to start testing about 40 000 samples per month; that is 1000 samples a day and we will be using the genexpert machines which are used for TB testing and those are available in every district all across the nation,” she said.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 sometime last month, government has tested less than 700 samples.
Government has also come under fire for failure to take proactive strategies during the country’s Covid-19 induced 21-day lockdown set to end this Sunday.
Other countries have gone ahead using their lockdown periods to conduct mass testing.
During the media briefing, Mutsvangwa also revealed government has disbursed ZWL$591 million towards the fight against Covid-19.
Furthermore, government has received a total of US$47 million; R356 100.00 and ZW$21 390 733.04 while pledges amounting to ZW$1 242 160, 00 were made towards the same cause.
Said Mutsvangwa, “Cabinet expressed utmost gratitude to citizens, the corporate sector and cooperating partners for the support rendered both in cash and kind towards the fight against COVID-19.
“A total of ZW$21 390 733.04; US$47 million and R356 100.00 has been received to date, while pledges totalling ZW$1 242 160,00 were made.
“On its part, Government has disbursed ZW$591 million to date towards the same cause.”
Part of the money will be used to renovate a wing at Parirenyatwa Hospital which is meant to accommodate Covid-19 cases.
Cabinet also agreed to introduce two more Statutory Instruments to regulate and control the importation of COVID-19 related materials, and all subsidised basic goods.
“Government is set to introduce two more Statutory Instruments which is meant to regulate and control importation and exportation of basic goods duty free so that we get food in our supermarkets.
“Statutory Instruments be promulgated to regulate and control the import of COVID-19 related materials, and all subsidized basic goods,” said Mutsvangwa.