INFORMATION and broadcasting services Minister, Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa says government has commenced distribution of identified COVID-19 treatment medicines across the country’s provincial hospitals as part of its preparedness should the need for treatment arise.
By Michael Gwarisa
In a statement, Minister Mtsvangwa said the distribution of COVID19 essentials including identified treatment medications was made at to all the Provincial and District medical centres over the past week.
These essentials included PPEs such as aprons, face masks and theatre gowns; supplies for the screening of COVID19 such as infrared thermometers; and disinfection materials such as knap sack sprayers. There has been no need for medications and drugs used to treat COVID19 patients thus far, however, our medical facilities have to be ready to administer treatment to severe and critical COVID19 cases.
“This past week, drugs that were identified in the treatment of COVID19, Hydroxychloroquine, which was locally produced, and Alpha Interferon which was sourced from Cuba, were distributed to Provincial and Central Hospitals,” said Hon Mutsvangwa.
She added that another primary drug which is used in treating symptoms through lowering fevers and pain, paracetamol was also being locally manufactured.
“I am pleased to announce that the nation now has the following stocks of pharmaceuticals: 20 million paracetamol tablets, 20 000 paracetamol syrup, 755 000 Vitamin C and 420 000 chloroquine tablets.”
The National Taskforce was informed that the Subcommittee inspected some manufacturers of PPE last week, with a view to appreciate local production.
“It was noted that local companies are producing a variety of PPE such as face masks, hand sanitizers, hospital gowns, scrubs, jump suits with hoods, surgical hats, draps, aprons, and booties/shoe covers.
“Stocks of locally produced PPEs and other COVID19 essentials are increasing and this enhances the country’s ability to combat the virus. The report mentioned that we have a company that is daily producing 4000 hospital gowns, 2500 scrubs and 6000 facial masks using waterproof cotton fabric.”
Meanwhile, the country’s tertiary institutions have so far produced 459 295 litres of hand sanitizers and have current stocks of 92 977litres. They have also produced 367 769 masks to date and currently hold stocks of 70 861.
“Government commends efforts by local companies and tertiary institutions, a national response through using mostly local resources shows that we are refocusing, recalibrating and revamping to life under COVID19.
“As announced last week, Cabinet reached the decision that the re-opening of schools be moved from the proposed date of 29 June 2020 to 28 July 2020. This was done to allow the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to engage stakeholders and mobilize adequate resources to re-open schools that are safe for learners and their teachers.”
The National Taskforce was informed that the COVID19 training programme for teaching and non-teaching staff has been finalized.
“Also, Standard Operation Procedures in schools under COVID19 have been circulated to all schools for them to input before the document is finalized. Meanwhile, in preparation for the re-opening of schools, Cabinet directed that schools which were being used as quarantine facilities should no longer admit returnees, and that alternative quarantine centres be identified.