Economy

Government avails ZWL$18,5 million for Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza

Government, through the National Treasury, has allocated ZWL$10 million for Harare, Bulawayo ZWL$6 million and Chitungwiza ZWL$2.5 million, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has announced. These funds will be directed especially to COVID-19 Rapid Response Teams.
Through her weekly media brief statement yesterday 3 August, Senator Mutsvangwa said that government is also establishing 4 additional Rapid Response Teams for Chitungwiza (2), Ruwa (1) and Epworth (1) to handle COVID-19 cases effectively.
She mentioned that the government has identified COVID-19 hotspots hence more resources will be channeled towards these. 
“The latest hotspots to be analyzed are the Fresh Vegetable markets in Harare and Bulawayo. It was noted that persons from different environs visit these markets and testing would give an indication of infection rates,” she said.
In addition, Senator Mutsvangwa said that the Harare Rapid Response Teams conducted tests at Mbare Musika during the past 2 days and of those tested, 7 (8.75%) were positive. She highlighted that markets are posing high risk due to over crowding of clients, poor sanitation conditions for vendors and no easy donning of masks by the general public and vendors.
“This errant behavior in the form of continued disregard of COVID-19 containment measures which includes physical distancing, wearing of face masks and sanitization is also being witnessed in public spaces such as supermarkets, malls and banking halls.
“My fellow Zimbabweans, COVID-19 is real and let us not expose ourselves through reckless and errant behavior which will not only affect you as an individual, but your loved ones and the nation at large,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.
She also cautioned private and public institutions refusing to admit patients who have no COVID-19 test results saying that this is contrary to provisions of the Public Health Act.
“Government warns those medical facilities who have been contravening this Act. All hospitals both public and private should admit all patients without the pre-requirement of a COVID-19 test and proceed to do a PCR test on admission. The latter will determine whether the patient will be further managed in the green or red zone,” she said.
Also, she stressed that allowances for all non-health frontline staff allowances are being finalised and shall be paid according to the different risk categories which are low, medium and high.
“The non-health frontline workers will receive their allowances backdated since they had not yet started receiving these. Embassy staff is to be also considered as frontline workers as they are involved in repatriations,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.
In order to address testing backlog and delays in the issuance of test results, Senator Mutsvangwa said that Laboratory Staff 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 (NTBRL) 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.