By Luckmore Safuli
THE ZIMBABWEAN government says there are no cases of coronavirus in the country and they are on high alert with the national preparedness and response system having been activated while major airports such as the Victoria Falls International Airport have also strengthened their surveillance mechanisms.
On Thursday the 30th of January the World Health Organisation WHO declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern and called for a coordinated global response in order to contain the virus that broke out in China.
Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obediah Moyo who was accompanied by his deputy Dr John Magwiro and other senior government officials on Friday descended on the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport which is a gateway to the majestic waterfall Mosi-oa-Tunya, to assess the state of preparedness.
Dr Moyo said there is no case of coronavirus that has been detected in the country adding that the country is on high alert with response systems having been activated at all the country’s 26 ports of entry.
“We are satisfied with preparations and we appreciate the alertness of members of staff including those at the airport, civil aviation, security and the other stakeholders to do with health,” said Dr Moyo.
The cabinet minister expressed satisfaction at the state-of-the-art screening machines and quarantine facilities at the upgraded airport which he said are critical for a popular destination such as Victoria Falls.
“This airport remains critical considering that it handles many tourists who visit the natural wonder. What we have seen here is impressive and it is our wish that this airport can be used of a model where the same screening and quarantine facilities can be replicated at the other airports across the country,” he noted.
From the airport, the delegation had a brief tour of the Victoria Falls District Hospital private ward and ICU sections. Dr Moyo was pleased with the quarantine facilities and also highlighted that there are plans to have more private hospitals in the resort town for the convenience of tourists.
“We appreciate the importance of having world-class health facilities for such as destination like Victoria Falls and we have since intensified our efforts to secure more Private-Public Partnerships,” revealed the minister.
According to government more coronavirus tests kits are expected in the country next week. The responsible authorities have also urged the health staff to take the necessary precautions when handling suspected cases of the coronavirus.
By Luckmore Safuli