Government decentralises testing for COVID-19 to district level

By Zbc Reporter
Government has decentralised testing for COVID-19 to the district level with 3000 rapid test kits having been deployed to provinces, while a consignment of cartridges to test for the virus at every district is expected to be received anytime this week.
Addressing members of the media in Harare this Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Agnes Mahomva said there were using other laboratory facilities to test for the virus other than the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory.
“One is asking so we are only using the National Microbiology Reference Lab, how else are you going to vamp up with just one place, we talked about our decentralization structure where we are saying, moving forward we will not just test in Harare, we are also using the Bulawayo lab… we have also had the private sector who want to come on board and we are in negotiations to see how best we can support them and given those kits they require.
‘In addition to that we also ordered some cartridges for machines that we already have in our districts, most know that we treat TB and we have what we call the gene expert machines and they are in every district but when we bought them, we bought them for TB testing hence we did not get the cartridges to test for COVID-19 infection, we have already placed an order and we are expecting to receive them anytime this week and that wi8ll help us ramp up,” said Dr. Agnes Mahomva – Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Child Care
Dr Mahomva said a model has been identified by experts to estimate the number of confirmed or positive tests to COVID-19, adding that government’s aim is to maximise testing.
Meanwhile, government is currently working with the private sector and conducting weekly meetings together with United Nations (UN) bodies every Tuesdays where high-level technical team coordination meetings are held to assess the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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