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Polad meets over Covid-19 fight

05 Jun, 2020 - 00:06 0 Views
Polad meets over Covid-19 fight President Mnangagwa addresses Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) members while flanked by conveners — Margaret Sangarwe and Retired Justice Selo Nare — at State House in Harare yesterday

The Herald

Herald Reporter

President Mnangagwa and other leaders in the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) met in an extraordinary executive plenary session yesterday where the President gave details of measures which the Government was taking to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The President informed Polad members that the swift measures that Government introduced from the onset of the first reported case in Zimbabwe in March had managed to minimise local transmissions.

Confirmed cases currently stand at 222 with four deaths. The cumulative number of tests done is 49 603.

Zimbabwe is currently observing a national lockdown that limits the movement of people in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) measures to curb the spread of the global pandemic.

Although the country has witnessed an increase in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks, the patients are almost all citizens and residents returning home and their infections being caught, as intended, in quarantine.

Infection within Zimbabwe is very low.

“These measures that we have been preaching to the people are essential to curb the widespread of the outbreak in Zimbabwe,” said the President

“The Covid-19 pandemic has deprived us of the opportunity to meet frequently to discuss the social, political and economic issues affecting our nation. On that note, I am looking forward to the provision of necessary gadgets to facilitate the conducting of virtual meetings.”

President Mnangagwa also saluted organisations, both private and public, and the international development partners who have contributed towards the fight against the novel pandemic.

“It is noteworthy that we have received various donations from well-wishers towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. These donations have played an enormous role in complementing Government’s efforts to mitigate the threat posed by coronavirus.

“Therefore, I call upon the private sector and institutions across the country to continue supporting us during this time of need,” said the President.

Furthermore, the President said the Government established an ad-hoc Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 chaired by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, which reports weekly on the state of the pandemic.

The taskforce itself has established eight-member sub-committees to assist it in its execution of its duties as tabulated in its terms of reference.

The sub-committees are for resource mobilisation and coordination, logistics, food and water sustainability and distribution, law and order, public health strategy and infrastructure, information and communication, materials production, implementation and monitoring.

In addition to the sub-committees, “we have established a Covid-19 Command Centre to direct and coordinate all operations related to the Covid-19 pandemic”.

As part of the fight against Covid-19, the Government roped in universities with engineering and technology capacity to produce personal protective equipment and sanitisers to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology, Great Zimbabwe University have already started producing the safety equipment and sanitisers for use in the fight against the pandemic.

Further, Government has also bolstered efforts to capacitate Verify Engineering, a technology development parastatal under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, to produce 30 tonnes of medical oxygen monthly.

Polad executive members commended the Government for working flat out to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

Polad representative Mr Trust Chikohora said: “We are happy with the Government’s responsiveness towards the fight against the pandemic. However, our worry is the price madness in the market. There is need to put measures to curb the inflationary pressures,” said Mr Chikohora.

Polad is a platform for major political parties, those that nominated a presidential candidate in the last election, to discuss social, political and economic issues affecting the country.

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