Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT will today put to tender the procurement of additional Covid-19 testing equipment, test kits and other consumables in a bid to increase screening for the virus.

In a media briefing on Monday Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Cde Monica Mutsvangwa said cases were surging and testing needed to be increased.

“We will continue to increase our testing levels in order to ensure that those who are at risk and have been exposed receive the medical attention they need.

As such the Ministry of Health and Child Care will be flighting a 72-hour tender on the 4th of August 202 for the procurement of four Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines, 220 000 PCR test kits, 25 000 antigen RDTs and other laboratory consumables. The USD$5.6 million already allocated by Government will be utilised for this procurement,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said in the past week the nation has witnessed a further jump in Covid-19 cases with local cases statistics as on 2 July 2020 standing at 2828 which is a 98 percent increase from last week’s figure of 1426.

“Most of the local cases are in Harare (1227), Bulawayo (897), Midlands Province (237) and Mashonaland East (157). The Covid-19 war is now in our communities and we have to increase our vigilance and the need to adhere to protective and preventative measures cannot be over emphasised,” she said.

“The Taskforce was informed that at Mpilo (Bulawayo) and St Lukes (Lupane) hospitals have been trained to use the Abbott Platform which will assist in clearing the backlog at the National TB Reference Laboratory in Bulawayo.

“Meanwhile an Information Technology Solution on the issuance of results is being developed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in collaboration with the Harare Institute of Technology to reduce the delays in the issuance of results,” she added.

Meanwhile, 10 people succumbed to the virus on Monday at various facilities bringing the total of deaths so far to 80.

“Today we regret to report 10 facility deaths. The deaths include four females and four males from Harare Province, one male from Mashonaland West Province and one male for Matabeleland South Province,” the Ministry of Health and Child Care said.

A total of 154 cases tested positive for Covid-19 all which are local transmission.

The Ministry said new recoveries were also recorded from Manicaland with 27, Matabeleland North eight and Mashonaland West with six recoveries.