Heather Charema in CHEGUTU and Conrad Mupesa in CHINHOYI
Chegutu District Hospital has closed its outpatient department to attend to emergency cases and limit the inflow of patients and visitors to the institution.
President Mnangagwa on Monday announced measures to stop the spread of coronavirus and restricted hospital visits to one per day.
Only one relative is allowed during the visit.
On Tuesday, Chegutu District medical officer Dr Tonderai Nhende confirmed the closure of the outpatient department.
“We have closed to limit the flow of patients coming into our hospital so that we look at emergency cases in the wake of Covid-19. We are looking at serious cases for now,” he said.
“We have not yet recorded any serious cases in Chegutu and we are not monitoring any case either. We want to avoid a situation whereby patients with other ailments come in contact with those suspected to have Covid-19 and end up getting infected.”
Dr Nhende urged residents to avoid unnecessary travelling and self-distance at all times.
Washing hands thoroughly with running water was also encouraged to avoid contracting coronavirus.
He said Covid-19 was transmitted through coughing or sneezing, contact with an infected person or contaminated object, hence the need for everyone to practice caution.
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) on Monday requested Government to shut down all outpatient departments.
Further, the ZADHR proposed hospitals to handle emergency cases only.
Chinhoyi Municipality, with the help of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) shall administer SI 77 of 2020 on behalf of local authorities to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
SI77 of 2020 seeks to de-congest public gatherings and avoid the spread of Covid-19.
Chinhoyi town clerk Mr Maxwell Kaitano said the move was overdue.
He said the meeting resolved, among other things, to reduce the number of days that people spend at a funeral.
“We also agreed to ban gatherings, especially along undesignated market sites.”
Mr Kaitano said council was going to disinfect and sanitise market areas as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus.
“We have also designated one clinic to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for isolation purposes while plans to start disinfecting and sanitise markets are at an advanced stage.”
Council spokesperson Mr Tichaona Mlauzi said banks were instructed to minimise the number of people in banking halls and maintain social distance of one metre.
He added that council resolved to reduce and rotate its staff manning offices either at front or back offices and at the same time, keep them well ventilated.
All council workstations will have sanitisers and councillors will meet when it is unavoidable.
On Monday, Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Mary Mliswa-Chikoka convened a special meeting with provincial heads on the preparedness against the virus.
She urged leaders to cascade the message to ensure their communities are de-congested.