Security Forces To Collect COVID-19 Samples For Testing

SECURITY Forces have been roped in for collection of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) samples from patients in the high risk category.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

This is to achieve an ambitious target of 1000 tests a day as set by the COVID-19 Taskforce.

Regarding achieving the 1000 tests a day, we have now come up with a strategy, the taskforce has implored that we get the services or the support services from the security services, they havemedical corps in the army, the Police and Prisons.

“We have roped them in so they can be able to assist in the sampling process to assist our healthcare workers and be able to come up with a sizeable number of tests or samples per day,” said Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo speaking to journalists on Wednesday.

The Health Minister said they have adjusted the World Health Organisation Case Definition and Clinical Definition of this virus.

“This is going to happen countrywide. We have also said we are going over and above the Clinical Definition by the World Health Organisation. So now we are going to be looking at all those other cases admitted in our hospitals with chronic conditions like diabetics, hypertensives and all those with pneumonia so basically we want to test most of the patients if not all who are admitted in our health institutions to start off with,” he said.

Dr Moyo also said Healthworkers, Civil Service and Security Forces will be tested as well for the disease.

“And secondly we are also getting samples from our healthcare staff. We want all our healthworkers to be fully aware of their status for instance when we look at nurses, we are looking at a sizeable number of at least 18 000 nurses and its a big number besides the doctors, the lab scientists, pharmacists, radiographers, physiotherapists and all those who are relevant in this exercise.

“We are also looking at the security forces, the civil service, all those that make up the statistic. We want to be able to come up with a sizeable number. In terms of numbers, we are pushing to be able to get more candidates being sampled more appropriately to get more numbers,” the Health Minister said.

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