New Govt strategy to increase active screening for COVID-19 in Zimbabwe

By Zbc Reporter
The Ministry of Health and Child care on Tuesday announced that the country’s latest figure for COVID-19 is now 18 confirmed cases.

The cumulative tests conducted are 665, with 647 testing negative while one patient has since recovered while three deaths have so far been recorded

With the country and world at large grappling with the effects of COVID-19 global pandemic.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has set a target of to test a total of 3000 individuals for COVID-19 across the country by the end of April.
‘Testing will be done using PCR for both screening and diagnosis and Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) for screeing purposes only,’ the Ministry said in a statement.
‘In order to achieve the required level of testing and therefore generate sufficient evidence for programming of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, a strategy for testing has been presented and approved by he Inter-Ministerial Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by the Honourable Vice President Kembo Mohadi,’ said the Ministry in a statement.
With immediate effect groups of people will therefore be tested for COVID-19.
1. All individuals fitting the case definition.
2. All travellers coming into the country from affected countries designated quarantine facilities will be tested using RDT on arrival and PCR on discharge.
3.People with Influenza like illnesses, (ILI) in hospitals and in communiaities.
4. All contacts of confirmed cases regardless of showing symptoms for the disease.
5. All cases of Pneumonia admitted in Hospitals (piublic or private).
6. All patients with fever in health facilities.
7.All Health Care workers working in frontline for COVID-19 response from the Local Health facilities, Infectious Diseases Hospitals, Central Hospitals, Provincial and District Hospitals as well as private institutions.
8. The community around a cluster of cases.
10. All the people above the age of 60 years admitted in hspitals who have chronic diseases that include Asthma, Hypertension, Diabetes and Heart Diseases.
11. People who have been working during lockdown and were interfacing with the community i.e. Law enforcement officers, employees from service providers like retail, business, petrol atendants, food outlets employees.
12. The Ministry will use Rapid Diagnostic Kits (RDTs) and prioritise all Government employees in all the Provinces reporting for duty to be tested to allow us to get in to get a mapping of where positive cases/clusters are as they interface community.
Teams have already been dispatched to collect samples for testing individuals from the above categories, according t the statement.
The Ministry also advised the nation that one of the cases was confirmed as recovered after testing negative for COVID-19 on two samples collected at least 24 hours apart.
‘According t World Health Organisation guidelines, patients with midld COVID-19 who are cared for at home, must test negative twice, using PCR on samples collected at least 24 hours apart, before they are released from hoe isolation,’ said the Ministry.

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