Govt to regulate imports of Covid-19 materials Minister Mutsvangwa

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Two statutory instruments are imminent to deal with subsidised basic goods and to regulate and control the importation of Covid-19 related materials, as part of a wide range of measures approved by Cabinet yesterday to combat the pandemic.

The reproduction and distribution of information, education and communication materials in 16 indigenous languages, inclusive of sign language and Braille, starts soon, while provinces have been given testing targets to ensure all designated groups are tested. A committee of health experts will be established to research Covid-19 and other health-related matters, find home-grown solutions, and advise the Government on technical matters.

Announcing the new measures, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that the committee was adopted following a report on the Covid-19 outbreak presented by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, as chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet noted with satisfaction and approved a progress report on the country’s preparedness and response to Covid-19 presented by VP Mohadi. Cabinet also lauded the level of preparedness in all provinces, amid indications that despite the general economic challenges, the provinces were geared to tackle Covid-19 should it break out.

Said Minister Mutsvangwa: “Cabinet agreed that a team of experts be constituted to research on issues pertaining to Covid-19 and other health-related matters, and proffer home-grown solutions and advice to Government.”

The committee will be established as soon as possible.

The Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 was tasked to ensure that the resolution, among others adopted yesterday, was implemented.

Cabinet also agreed that two Statutory Instruments be promulgated to regulate and control the importation of Covid-19 related materials, and all subsidised basic goods.

The ongoing programme to convert and renovate a wing of Parirenyatwa Hospital to treat more severe Covid-19 cases was formally approved.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the report presented by VP Mohadi also touched on the need for mapping, screening and testing centres as well as establishment of isolation centres for severe cases of Covid-19.

The report noted the need for setting a strategy to roll out an extensive testing programme for Covid-19 throughout the country, the intensification of production of personal protective equipment and materials as well as recruitment and training of staff, and the provision of food and water to urban and rural populace.

Cabinet thanked Zimbabweans and cooperating partners for the support rendered to Government through donations, which include just over $21 million, US$47 million and R356 100.

On its part, Government has disbursed $591 million so far from national funds towards the fight against the pandemic.

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