Gweru emerges as Midlands Covid-19 hotspot

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TARUBEREKERA MASARA

The  government has declared Gweru as one of the three hotspots of the pandemic in the country following a 112 percent increase of confirmed local Covid-19 cases across Zimbabwe.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said the national cumulative number of confirmed locally transmitted Covid-19 cases have increased by 112 percent.

The cases rose from 791 to 1 675 during the past week.

“Most of the local cases are in Bulawayo (667), Harare (601) and Gweru (168).

“Cabinet therefore, declared Gweru a hotspot of Covid 19, in addition to Harare and Bulawayo," said Mutsvangwa.

According  to Mutsvangwa the government is pulling resources in an effort to put in place Rapid Result Test Teams to facilitate localized lockdowns in hotspot suburbs of the three cities.

Nationally there has been a 68 percent increase in the number of confirmed cases out of the 122 770 tests conducted throughout the country.

“In order to control the spike in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths, Cabinet further agreed on the immediate implementation of the following practical measures: (a) that COVID-19 hotspots shall be quickly analysed with a view to implementing stricter lockdown measures so as to ensure behavioural change towards the disease in the areas; (b) that holding of Virtual Meetings shall be enhanced and that all Ministry staff reporting for duty shall be tested before assuming duty, while the outgoing group of workers is tested before leaving and upon return; (c) that the Rapid Response Teams will be provided with the vehicles and allowances necessary to enable them to carry out their duties efficiently.

“Social workers and other categories of staff providing documented COVID-19 frontline services at quarantine centres, public institutions and other areas will receive the same allowances as those given to health workers; (d) that the initial Official Communication of COVID-19 results shall be made by the Secretary for Health and Child Care and appropriate action will be taken against those who violate this standing directive; and (e) to expedite the secondment and recruitment of additional staff such as nurses, laboratory scientists so as to strengthen health delivery system and national response to the COVID-19 outbreak”

She added that the country have reasonable stocks of PPE, with stocks of at least threw weeks.

“A case in point is the United Bulawayo Hospitals which has three months supply of PPE in place. Cabinet also continues to urge the public to remain vigilant as the COVID-19 is real and affecting many of our loved ones,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.