Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE has six months’ supply of Covid-19 testing consumables as the country continues with its fight against the pandemic.

In a post Cabinet briefing yesterday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Cde Monica Mutsvangwa said the country was safe in terms of consumables.

“Regarding the supply of testing consumables, it is worth noting that the 21 080 Gene X-pert cartridges in stock are sufficient for over six months, giving room for the country to stock up on other consumables required,” she said.

Gene X-pert machines were traditionally used for testing for Tuberculosis in the country’s health institutions but are also able to test for Covid-19. As of 16 October 2020, Zimbabwe had recorded a total of 8 099 Covid-19 cases, 7 673 recoveries, and 231 deaths. The national recovery rate is standing at 95 percent.

“Six thousand seven hundred and twelve (6 712) of the Covid-19-positive cases are local transmissions. New cases for week 41 stood at 105, compared to 207 in week 40,” she said.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care is also updating guidelines on the wearing of face masks by children in order to strengthen the control and prevention of infection in schools and communities.

Cabinet also noted that there has been an increase in demand for disposable masks and sanitisers following the recent re-opening of schools for examination classes throughout the country. However there are sufficient supplies of these materials, she said.

“There are adequate stocks of most locally produced PPEs and medicines for supportive management of Covid-19 cases, and satisfactory quantities of raw materials for increased production in the event of a surge in demand,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education also continues to monitor the daily attendance of examination classes’ teachers and pupils countrywide.

“For the week ending 16 October 2020, increased overall teacher attendance was recorded in Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Manicaland compared to the attendance statistics for the previous week. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will this week conduct field visits to assess school preparedness for the impending Phase two, which will see Grade six, Form three and Form five learners resuming,” she added.

Production of Covid-19 infomercials and 2020 Heroes commemorations skits/radio and television jiggles in 16 national official languages; classes are also underway.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care outlined the projects being undertaken by his Ministry as follows which include the construction of a Primary Care Centre in Harare South; establishment of the Bartley Memorial Block, Covid-19 isolation and treatment centre and an Obstetric Fistula Unit at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

The ministry will also the roll out of the electronic health record system, Covid-19 status electronic tracking system and the establishment of Covid-19 community isolation centres in Bulawayo and Matabeleland South provinces