GOVERNMENT is working on sourcing a rapid nucleic test kit which can detect Coronavirus within eight to 15mins as part of upscaling the country’s preparedness for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Briefing journalists after a tour of Sally Mugabe Central Hospital (formerly Harare Hospital), the Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obediah Moyo reiterated that the health sector is ready with all necessary measures to contain the virus are already in place, however, the government is also working on acquiring the rapid tests kits for the novel coronavirus.
“We are sourcing for the rapid tests kits, with the rapid tests kits we will be able to get results within 15minutes,” he said.
Responding to questions regarding the securing of the USD 5.2million needed to fight the virus. The Minister said the request by the epidemiology department for the USD 5.2 million is being looked into by treasury.
“The request is being acted upon. The treasury is in a position to give us assistance pertaining to the requirements of the epidemiology department. It might end up not being USD 5 million as some of our partners might also chip in,” he explained.
So far a total number of 1,741 people have been screened and cleared of the virus.
The ministry also pointed out that Wilkins Hospital will be a training centre for infectious diseases.
“We want this place to be a training centre for other infectious diseases so that everyone in terms of the staff and the isolation centres are safe and secured,” he said.
The Director Health for Harare City Health, Dr Prosper Chonzi said the training for all Health practitioners will commence this Thursday.
“Thursday we will be having training and orientation. We want everyone to be able to protect themselves,” he said.
The Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr Gibson Mhlanga also emphasised the importance of intensive training in preparation for Coronavirus.
“Most cities and towns are not yet fully prepared, so this will be the training centre to ensure that everyone is up to the task.