Friday, 23 October 2020 15:21

Zim sets up COVID-19 testing at major airports

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Zimbabwe has set up facilities to expedite COVID-19 and other tests at the country’s three major airports whenever the need arises. Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, said plans were afoot to open land borders as well.

“Following the resumption of domestic and international flights, Lancet, Genau and Ampath laboratories have commissioned testing facilities at Robert Gabriel Mugabe (Harare), Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (Bulawayo) and Victoria Falls International Airports.”

She said the country had adequate COVID-19 testing kits.

“Regarding the supply of testing consumables, it worth noting that the 21 080 Gene Xpert cartridges in stock are sufficient for over six months, enabling the country to stock up on other consumables required,” Mutsvangwa said.

As part of measures to guarantee the safety of travellers, those showing COVID-19 symptoms – whether or not they have a COVID-19-free certificate – will be tested. A nominal fee of US$60 will be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry.

Other measures include installation of sanitiser booths at the three international airports.

Land borders may open soon

Mutsvangwa said: “Monitoring teams have been dispatched to Beitbridge, Plumtree, Kazungula, Victoria Falls, Kariba, Chirundu, Nyamapanda and Forbes border posts to assess the state of preparedness of the country’s land ports of entry to handle increased human and vehicular traffic.”

According to government sources, since October 16, Zimbabwe had recorded a total of 8 099 COVID-19 cases, 7 673 recoveries, and 231 deaths. The national recovery rate is 95%. A total of 6 712 of the COVID-19-positive cases were local transmissions.

Source: TU

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