Fiona Ruzha, H-Metro Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has ordered screening of Covid-19 at all Government buildings and infrastructure with immediate effect.
The move comes at a time when the virus is fast spreading on the continent with more than 31 countries having confirmed cases and seven of them being SADC member states.
Speaking during the launch of the National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan in the capital yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the virus was a serious disease which the country cannot afford to ignore.
“In the last few weeks we have seen a dramatic decline in economic activities, drop in international tourism and severe instability across the globe due to this pandemic.
“Although global evidence is suggesting that the elderly and those with existing medical conditions are at highest risk, Covid-19 has been shown to affect everyone including children.
“The world over, Governments have activated emergency mode as the number of cases, deaths and affected countries has increased significantly according to WHO.
“As Zimbabwe we cannot continue with business as usual for it is no longer a matter of if but when our country will have these cases.
“The dynamics of this pandemic have changed although the Covid-19 was firstly reported in China.
“The total number of cases and deaths outside China has now overtaken the number of cases in China and Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic with more reported cases and deaths.
“Considering the scale and magnitude of the spread of this virus, it very clear that no country is immune to the disease,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the Government was already in response mode, despite not having confirmed any case.
“My Government is very much committed to stopping Covid-19 right in its trucks following preparations of this outbreak of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern by WHO earlier this year.
“So my Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care has put in place and continue to enhance measures to minimise the import of Covid-9 into the country and ensure health safety for all citizenry of our country.
“The National Emergency Preparedness and Response mechanism for surveillance and any detection of any possible cases was activated and will remain active until after WHO has removed the global health alert.
“Our preparedness measures have been stepped up through heightened surveillance systems at national, provincial and district levels with special focus on all ports of entry throughout the country.
“Mandatory screening of all visitors entering the country at our ports of entry and all our Government buildings and infrastructure there should be screening with immediate effect.
“In addition, active surveillance and follow up continue to be done to minimise the spread of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe and all our hospitals remain on high alert,” he said.
Also speaking at the launch, Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo said his ministry was responding to this pandemic in a collaborative and timely fashion.
“This plan will not only strengthen our preparedness and response but will enhance our coordination, resource mobilization and team work as we continue to strengthen our Covid-19 surveillance and management.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care team is committed to ensuring that the preparedness and response is well coordinated, and that the health of the nation is safeguarded,” he said.