Govt devotes US$26 million towards Covid-19 fight

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By Idah Mhetu

GOVERNMENT will spend more than US$26 million in the next 12 months on programmes aimed at mitigating the effects of the possible outbreak and spread of the dreaded coronavirus in the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday launched the Zimbabwe Preparedness and Response Plan on Covid-19 strategy which shall see Treasury spend US$26 388 380.

US$12 144 606 will also be channelled towards logistics, procurement and supply management.

Surveillance, rapid response and case investigation including Ports of Entry has been allocated US$4 159 890.

Officially launching the Covid-19 response document at State House Thursday, Mnangagwa said no country was immune to the virus which has claimed thousands throughout the world.

“This pandemic surpasses all that we have experienced before. Around 200 000 people have tested positive globally and around 7000 have died worldwide,” he said.

“It is clear that no country is immune to Covid-19 as 7 out of 16 countries in the Sadc region have confirmed cases with Zambia having been confirmed its first two cases on Wednesday.”

The President said business has declined seriously across the globe and Covid-19 has shown to affect everyone including children.

Speaking at the same occasion, World Health Organisation country representative, Alex Gasasira, also said the Coronavirus pandemic could be controlled adding that the UN health agent was grateful for the strong measures already put in place by Zimbabwean authorities to avert the disaster.

He called for a holistic approach to dealing with the National Preparedness and Response Plan.

“Your Excellency, this is a pandemic that can be controlled. We are grateful to you for the strong measures that Zimbabwe has put in place that are in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation,” said Gasasira.

Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said Zimbabwe has not recorded any positive case of Covid-19.

He commended support from various stakeholders including the Chinese and British Embassies in boosting the country’s response to the pandemic.