INFORMATION and broadcasting services minister, Honorable Monica Mutsvagwa says Hydroxchloroquine is still amongst some of the COVID-19 treatment medications in stock in the country.
By Michael Gwarisa
This is however despite calls by local pharmacists to halt dispensing the drug for COVID-19 treatment until conclusive studies on the effectiveness of the drug in managing the disease have been arrived.
In a media brief, minister Mutsvangwa said stocks of drugs and medicines used in the treatment of COVID19 symptoms continue to increase in the country.
Presently our stocks include 27.6 million of paracetamol tablets, paracetamol syrup and 2.1 million Vitamin C tablets.
“Some of our local pharmaceutical companies have in stock some drugs that are being used to manage COVID19 cases internationally such as dexamethasone which is now being used in UK, ramsidivir which is being used in USA and hydroxchloroquine,” said minister Mutsvangwa.
She added that government has increased awareness campaigns in communities with reinforcement of WHO guidelines underway.
“Additionally, we have strengthened our surveillance, management and treatment plans and the COVID19 response plan is being fine-tuned. We are paying particular attention to prevalence, areas of high concentration, management of quarantines, treatment and isolation centres.
"Presently, all the District, Provincial and Infectious diseases hospitals are now ready to admit COVID19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms that cannot self-isolate in their homes."
Meanwhile, active quarantine facilities under Government sponsorship across the country stand at 43; while there are 37 private quarantine centres with the majority being in Harare. To date, a total of 9735 persons have been housed at these quarantine facilities, 6801 have been discharged and current enrolment is at 1944.
“Government continues to enhance systems in order to better manage quarantine facilities and ensure the safety of both returnees and staff. It has been noted that some returnees are failing to adhere to protective and preventative measures that have been put in place to curb in-house transmission.
“The purpose of quarantine centres is to screen all those who are coming from outside so that we contain the spread of the virus. Government urges returnees to be responsible citizens as they risk infecting each other if they do not adhere to the protective and preventative measures, within the quarantine facilities.”
Minister Mutsvangwa aldo touched on the issue of quarantine absconders and noted the number of absondees have gone down with seven returnees absconding last week.
“The decrease in the number of absconders is attributed to increased security at quarantine centres and implementation of the Cabinet Directive to withhold returnees’ travel documents upon arrival at ports of entry.
“As for diplomats, foreign envoys enjoy diplomatic immunity and are only subjected to normal screening in accordance to health protocols upon arrival to the country. They are then allowed to proceed home for self-quarantine at their private residences under the supervision of their respective Heads of Mission. However, Zimbabwean diplomats, upon return are treated as ordinary returning citizens and are expected to comply with quarantine protocols.”