Govt takes charge of council run hospitals to spearhead Covid-19 fight

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By Costa Nkomo

VICE President Kembo Mohadi Thursday said government has invoked the Civil Protection Act that allows it to take charge of all council run hospitals as part of its ongoing attempts to coordinate efforts meant to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mohadi, who chairs the Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19, was speaking at a meeting with the Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC) and its affiliates in Harare.

The commission and its delegation was led by Commissioner Grace Muradzikwa who pledged to support the government in the fight against the pandemic.

Mohadi said government underestimated the ferocity of the world biggest health challenge in decades through assumptions local solutions would suffice in responding to the pandemic.

“Initially, we had said maybe the City of Harare and its institutions will cater for that, but we found that it is not possible,” said the VP.

“Wilkins Hospital itself has left a lot of to be desired. So, we are working on it and I’m sure by tomorrow (Friday), it will be ready to receive the patients. But it has been government effort.

“We have also invoked the statutory instrument, the Civil Protection Act to take over all those local authority run institutions that deal with health until this pandemic is over because as government, we can resource better than local authorities to get these institutions running.”

The VP further said the country’s largest public referral hospital, Parirenyatwa, has been divided into two sections, one to cater for Covid-19 patients while the other section continues with other daily health care services.

“We have divided Parirenyatwa Hospital into two, the red and the green. So, we are partitioning Parirenyatwa Hospital. We are breaking Parirenyatwa, there is a lot of work that is going on there,” he said.

Government is keen to provide as much beds as possible amid an anticipated escalation in cases of the pandemic.

Zimbabwe has to date confirmed 23 Covid-19 cases accompanied by three deaths out of 716 cumulative tests conducted since the outbreak last month.