Rumbidzai Zinyuke and Lovemore Kadzura
Government has invoked the Civil Protection Act to allow the Ministry of Health and Child Care to take over the rehabilitation, construction and running of the Mutare Infectious Disease Hospital to increase Manicaland province’s preparedness to deal with Covid-19 cases.
This comes as the Mutare City Council has been struggling to meet the deadline for completion of the isolation centre’s rehabilitation due to various challenges.
The centre’s rehabilitation was supposed to have been completed by April 18.
Speaking during a tour of health institutions in Manicaland today, deputy chairperson of the Covid-19 inter-ministerial taskforce, Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the situation with regards to health institutions in Manicaland is not pleasing and there is need for a collective approach in enhancing preparedness.
“I am not happy because our health institutions are not well resourced and this requires us to go back and put in place a program to assist hospitals in the provision of isolation centres. It is very important that we have some central authority that will be pushing for that. We really need to push and increase workforce on the ground to make sure that all construction work is completed,” she said.
Minister of State for Manicaland’s Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said the decision to take over MIDH is necessary as it will consolidate efforts to fight the pandemic.
“Although Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital is much better in terms of preparedness, they still need more equipment. MIDH on the other hand still has a long way to go. So we have asked the Provincial Civil Protection Committee to come in according to Section 23 of the Civil Protection Act as there is need for urgent intervention,” she said.
“We need to mobilise workforce, including the Council itself, the Department of Public Works, the Zimbabwe National Army and all other stakeholders so that we speed up the construction and renovation processes. The money is already there for the super structure, the equipment as well, so work will start in earnest on Monday.”
Last week, Government released $1,4 million for the rehabilitation of the isolation centre while council injected $1,5.
A further $1,6 million had been raised for the structural renovations by the business community operating under the auspices of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.