UZ Commences Production Of Swabs For Collecting COVID-19 Samples

THE university of Zimbabwe (UZ) in partnership with a local company have begun manufacturing swabs which will used in collecting COVID-19 samples as the country moves towards increasing testing levels.

By Michael Gwarisa

In media brief, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa said the swabs have been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Child Care and to Natpharm for quality assurance tests.

Additionally, Government continues to make strides in ensuring that the country’s preparedness and response plans are upgraded. As part of the efforts to boost self-sufficiency through import substitution, local industries and tertiary institutions continue to ramp up production of PPEs and drugs.

“The University of Zimbabwe and a local company have begun manufacturing swabs required for collecting COVID-19 samples. The swabs have been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Child Care and to Natpharm for quality assurance tests,” said minister Mutsvangwa.

She added that outstanding works at other Isolation Centres were now at various levels of completion.

“We are encouraged to report that the majority of positive cases reported in Zimbabwe have been mild and as such have not required hospitalization. As at 11 September 2020, a total of 148 cases were admitted to treatment facilities, while the rest of the confirmed cases were isolating at home.”

She also said even though the number of positive cases have subsided, it was too early to relax and “let our guard down.”

“As we continue to ease our lockdown measures, we need to bear in mind that we are not over the hill yet. We have so far lost 222 of our fellow Zimbabweans to COVID19 as of the 11th of September 2020. The most affected Provinces are the Metropolitan Provinces of Harare and Bulawayo.

“In light of these high death numbers, Government will continue to make preparations of our facilities so as to be able to cope with any potential spike in infections. Therefore, as of the 13th of September 2020, planned works at 11 isolation centres had been completed with funding from Government and/or well-wishers.”

The isolation centres include COVID-19 isolation centres at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital and Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare Metropolitan Province; Victoria Falls Beat Aids in Matabeleland North Province; Rujeko Clinic and Mashava Gaths Mine Hospital in Masvingo Province, Beitbridge and Plumtree District Hospitals in Matabeleland South Province, Chinengundu Clinic in Mashonaland West Province and Chipadze Training Center and Guruve District Hospital in Mashonaland Central Province.

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