Govt strengthens Covid-19 national response


Harare (New Ziana) – Government has announced a new COVID-19 response structure headed by Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd), as part of efforts to fortify the national response mechanism.
Vice President Chiwenga announced the new structure in a statement on Wednesday.
A new Ministerial committee has been formed and will be led by the VP who will be deputised by Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Prof Amon Murwira.
The Ministerial committee, which now has members including Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs, will receive support from a working party of officials which will be chaired by the chief coordinator for the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Agnes Mahomva.
The working party, which will be composed of members including provincial medical directors, will meet every Friday while the Ministerial committee will convene every Monday.
“These meeting schedules will run for a month and then the frequency of the meetings will be reviewed,” VP Chiwenga said.
“The overall aim of the new Ministerial Committee is to lead the country’s COVID-19 initiatives at national, provincial and district levels for a strengthened, well coordinated, efficient and effective national response that is based on best practices, lessons learnt and is driven by science,” he said.
Vice President Chiwenga said although Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 response had been well executed since the onset of the pandemic, emerging challenges have necessitated a new approach.
“The country has made very good progress in its preparedness and response to the pandemic. Capacities in disease surveillance, case management as well as in local manufacturing of essential COVID-19 commodities have been built, for example. The vaccination programme is admired by most globally and is leading on the African continent,” he said.
“The national response has, however, faced a number of challenges. Recently the momentum of the vaccination program seems to have gone down in a number of provinces, the magnitude and duration of the three pandemic waves experienced so far have worsened with each wave.
“These challenges and program gaps are a clear indication that despite the many achievements recorded so far, we still need to do much more if we are to prevent or subdue a potential bigger and longer 4th wave. Addressing these challenges and gaps calls for enhanced participation and response ownership by provincial and district teams from all sectors and not just from the health sector. Cabinet therefore decided to come up with a revised response structure aimed at consolidating the gains made so far at strengthening the national response in order to address the remaining challenges.”
New Ziana

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