Nyaradzo Group has established two clinics in Harare and Ruwa that will be screening and testing for the deadly virus, COVID-19.
By Precious Chida
Taurai Chipamaunga, an official at Nyaradzo, said each clinic will be capable of handling up to 50 tests daily, which means that the two clinics can handle up to 700 tests a week.
Users will receive their results within 15 minutes.
Chipamaunga said having learnt from other countries that have succeeded in containing the pandemic, Nyaradzo decided to prioritise screening and testing, becoming the first company to do so locally.
“Screening and testing are important facets in winning this war.
“Once we have identified those who are positive, we isolate them from everyone else to avoid spreading the disease while also giving ourselves time to do contact-tracing to contain its spread.
“A positive result is not the end of the world, it leads us to isolate the person and contact-trace and help those infected with the disease to pull through.
“Any suspected COVID-19 infections are referred to the government for confirmation tests,” he said.
The group’s counsellor, Gina Nyamanhindi, said the outbreak has bred uncertainty and anxiety, which is not being helped by the avalanche of fake news.
Through counselling, she said, they have been able to fill in the information gaps and adequately equip their staff to deal with the diseases.
“We have been going round our units, preparing our employees psychologically to go for screening and testing.
“Where our staff are working remotely, we utilise emails and phone calls to reach out to them with the information,” said Nyamanhindi.
Nyamanhindi added that: “We are taking a holistic approach in which testing is not the end but part of a process whereby we maintain contact with our staff thereafter so that they are adequately prepared to protect themselves when they go out there while also being able to deal with situations whenever they arise.”
The group added that they have also made sure that their staff members, who will be conducting the tests, are well protected.
Recently doctors and nurses in Zimbabwe’s public hospitals went on strike vowing not to return until the government gave them personal protective equipment so they can safely treat suspected coronavirus patients.
Public health specialists said that without action to resolve the matter, Zimbabwe could turn into another COVID-19 hotspot.
The Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights recently raised concern over the country’s capacity to test individuals of the novel coronavirus, amid indications that of the more than 16 000 people who returned from different countries, only 200 have been tested for the virus.
Questions have been raised about Zimbabwe’s preparedness and there is scepticism over the figures that the government provides.
“Many a times, organisations forget to take care of the carers who, in our case, are the undertakers, morticians and consultants – among others.
“Since the outbreak, Nyaradzo has been raising awareness amongst stakeholders, who include our members of staff whom we have been providing protective clothing – face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers with,” Nyaradzo group human resource executive, Kuda chanakira said.
“We have now taken these initiatives to another level through screening and testing them and should they test negative, we want them to continue taking good care of themselves. In the event that they test positive, we immediately isolate them while awaiting results from samples taken to a government laboratory for confirmation tests.”