Govt targets random Covid-19 sampling

Govt targets random Covid-19 sampling

Harare (New Ziana) – Government will soon commence random Covid-19 testing in selected population groups in addition to intensified testing of returnees, a Cabinet Minister said on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe has recorded over 350 cases of the deadly virus, the majority being imported cases from countries including South Africa, Botswana and the United Kingdom.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was determined to limit the number of local Covid-19 transmissions in the country.

“Cabinet notes that although the number of confirmed cases remains higher than what it was at the inception of the lockdown, it is flattening indicating the need to strengthen the control measures currently in place especially pertaining to returnees in order to ensure a decline in cases,” she told a post Cabinet briefing.

“Currently there 2 352 returnees at quarantine centres countrywide, focus will therefore continue to be put on testing returnees, separating positive cases from the negative before transporting them to the various quarantine centres.”

“In addition to targeted testing at the ports of entry and quarantine centres, random sampling will be conducted in strategically selected populations using the risk based approach in order to obtain Covid-19 test results that are more representative of Zimbabwean society,” she added.

Mutsvangwa said government measures to curb the spread of the disease would be maintained.

Zimbabwe is currently on level two lockdown for an indefinite period.

“Law enforcement agencies have also expanded the scope of their operations to include enforcing regulations forbidding truckers from carrying any passengers with 53 truck drivers having been arrested so far,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said most schools which were being used as quarantine centres had been evacuated.

“In preparation for the impending reopening of schools, it is pleasing to note that considerable progress has been made in vacating returnees from schools that were being used as quarantine centres. Efforts to refurbish the identified alternative centres are being enhanced,” she said.

Schools are expected to re-open next month under a phased approach.
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