COVID-19: Govt complex closed after minister tests positive

By The Herald

The New Government Complex in Gweru, which houses all the provincial government department heads, was partially closed yesterday for fumigation after Provincial Affairs Minister, Senator Larry Mavima, tested positive for Covid-19.

Sen Mavima is in self isolation at home after he became the latest high profile official to contract the disease.

There was little activity at the double storey complex yesterday, which houses over 500 employees.

The second floor, where the Minister, Provincial Development Coordinator and Provincial Public Service Inspector’s offices are located and all its wings, was closed for fumigation with all employees working from home.

At the Provincial Registrar’s Offices, only a handful of people applying for emergency passports and other documents were being assisted, while the majority were turned away.

Midlands Provincial Public Service Inspector, Mr Andrew Chimanyiwa, said the fumigation of the provincial headquarters was being done in phases and will continue today.

“We have temporarily closed the second floor and the rapid response team was fumigating the offices and everything there, he said. “We are currently operating from outside, so tomorrow (today) the fumigation will continue on the ground floor.

What is encouraging and pleasing is that no one has been taken ill, we are just taking precautionary measures. I have also spoken to the Minister, he is in good spirits. He said he is asymptomatic.”

Sen Mavima, who is also the Provincial Covid-19 Taskforce chair, confirmed on Monday that he had contracted the virus, but quickly allayed fears of serious illness, saying he had no other symptoms and was not even feeling sick.

Sen Mavima said the rapid response team collected samples for his contacts and the results were expected today.

“All my contacts were accounted for and the Provincial Medical Director will advise on the results once they have them,” he said.

On Monday, Sen Mavima urged members of the public to continue exercising social distancing, as well as putting on masks when in public places, adding that the country was still strictly observing WHO guidelines in the fight against the spread of the disease.