Govt ups Covid-19 testing, lists 12 target groups
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Ministry of Health and Child Care has identified 12 key sections of the society that will be prioritised for immediate Covid-19 testing as efforts to combat the spread of the virus intensify.
The strategy comes on the heels of government having received batches of new testing kits from the Africa Centre for Disease Control, World
Health Organisation and the missing reagents for the 20 000 kits donated by the Jack Ma Foundation.
With only 665 samples having been tested since the first case was
recorded last month, Health and Child Care Permanent Secretary, Dr Agnes Mahomva said the target was to test 33 000 people by end of this month.
“In order to achieve the required level of testing and therefore
generate sufficient evidence for programming of the Covid-19 pandemic
in Zimbabwe, a strategy for testing has been presented and approved by
the Inter-ministerial Task Force on Covid-19 chaired by Vice President
Kembo Mohadi,” she said in communication directed to health officials.
The groups of people targeted for testing has been extended to include
all travellers coming into the country on arrival from countries affected
by the virus, all those discharged from quarantine, people with
influenza like illnesses, all contacts of Covid-19 confirmed patients
regardless of symptoms, all cases of pneumonia, and all patients with
fever in health facilities.
Also on the list for immediate testing are all frontline health care
workers in the fight against the virus, all community deaths in areas
where there is local transmission and people above the age of 60
admitted in hospitals.
Essential service workers, such as those who work in supermarkets, law enforcement, food outlets, who have been permitted to work during the on-going lockdown as well as civil servants will also be tested.
All people living at the old people’s home where the late Patient 11
used to stay, where a number of cases have since been recorded will
also be tested, Dr Mahomva said.
Both government owned and private hospitals have been directed to
dispatch teams to attend to the targeted group to collect samples.
As of 14 April 2020, Zimbabwe had three Covid-19 deaths, 18 confirmed
cases and one recovery.