Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter
The Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 has established eight sub-committees to streamline delivery of its mandate of monitoring the situation and managing the response to the pandemic.
This comes as the country’s state of preparedness has heightened since the first case of coronavirus was recorded on March 21.
Taskforce chairman Vice President Kembo Mohadi announced the sub-committees while giving an update of the 21-day national lockdown, which entered its second week yesterday.
The taskforce is responsible for managing the response to Covid-19 and identify any gaps for corrective action.
Its role involves mobilising domestic and international financial resources to adequately respond to the outbreak.
Vice President Mohadi said the taskforce will continue to meet daily, with members reporting on actions that have been implemented to ensure that Zimbabwe sufficiently responds to the threat posed by Covid-19.
To this end, he implored citizens and stakeholders to join hands and fight the pandemic.
“I make a clarion call to all Zimbabweans, all corporates and other collaborating partners to stand together and respond to the President’s call for unity,” he said.
“This is our battle together. And together we will prevail and save lives.”
Since its inception, the members of the taskforce have been to all the country’s 10 provinces to meet with Ministers of State, as well as heads of Government departments to brief them on the necessary measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.
VP Mohadi reassured the nation on the state of preparedness, but warned, “we are not yet there”.
“We still need to establish more in terms of medical facilities, testing and mobilisation of resources,” he said.
The Vice President hailed citizens who heeded to the lockdown measures.
“As His Excellency, the President said when he announced the lockdown, this is not a punishment,” he said. “But a necessary measure to protect each and every citizen as we are all at risk unless we follow the guidelines set by our health experts.”
He noted that personal protective equipment (PPEs) was critical as it protects not only frontline workers, but each and every one.
In this regard, VP Mohadi said through the capacitation of tertiary institutions, the production of PPEs ranging from medical gowns, sanitisers and face masks was underway.
The private sector, he said, was playing its part in the production of PPEs and consumables.
“One of the key aspects of combating the coronavirus is that of hygiene,” he said.
“As the saying goes, cleanliness is next to godliness and good hygiene is crucial to preventing the spread of the virus.”
The provision of constant and clean water supplies has been prioritised with funds being channelled towards Chemplex to improve the production of water purifying chemicals, the Vice President added.
To boost the country’s capacity to timeously respond to the pandemic the manufacture and purchase of medications has been increased with CAPS Holdings, DATLABS and other pharmaceutical companies now producing several medications to be used in the treatment of coronavirus symptoms.
VP Mohadi said Government’s engagement with stakeholders that include the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, business, churches and traditional leaders, which is ongoing to ensure that no one is left behind.