Africa Moyo and Paidamoyo Chipunza
Government has teamed up with the private sector to set up coronavirus testing and isolation centres across the country.
Sakunda Holdings and Trauma Centre founder Dr Vivek Solanki are understood to be working with the Government in the initiative.
This comes as some private players were being accused of setting up a coronavirus centre allegedly to service Government officials only.
But it emerged last night that the centres that will be set up, are for the benefit of all coronavirus patients.
Plans are underway to make use of facilities at St Anne’s Hospital and Arundel Hospital in Harare and Ekhusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo.
In Victoria Falls, residents have already resolved to pool resources to set up an isolation centre.
Dr Solanki confirmed to The Herald last night confirmed the development.
“I am part of a team that is setting up several centres around the country to test and treat coronavirus patients in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).”
In a live broadcast on Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) on the readiness of Zimbabwe to deal with Covid-19 outbreak, Health Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo confirmed the project.
“Private companies are coming in a big way,” said Dr Moyo.
“A lot of private companies want to be part of the team. We are going to roll out the plan in very province. Our Infrastructure Committee will look at it.”
The Infrastructure Committee is from the 11-member inter-ministerial ad hoc taskforce appointed by President Mnangagwa to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Minister Moyo said St Anne’s and Arundel private hospitals have been identified in Harare and Ekhusileni in Bulawayo.
Ekhusileni has been lying idle for several years.
In Harare, Sakunda Holdings has received the green light to upgrade and use the identified facilities for the next six months.
Under the agreement, Sakunda Holdings will be expected to set up specialised healthcare facilities, train and equip healthcare practitioners, avail equipment and medication required for effective control of Covid-19.
The facilities will also be expected to provide services to every Zimbabwean.
Sakunda Holdings is understood to have bought Rock Foundation Medical Centre in Mt Pleasant and is refurbishing it.
The facility will be available for use by all Covid-19 patients requiring attention. Rock Foundation has 36 beds with ventilators.
Minister Moyo said the private sector were free to set up Covid-19 facilities provided they abide by recommended guidelines.
Private sector players are encouraged to set up the facilities separate from the main hospitals for infection control.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who was part of the ZTN live broadcast panel said there has been positive response from the private sector to complement Government’s national response.
“This is a crisis and as Government we have been partnering with private sector hospitals to also complement our efforts
“So far, we are receiving positive response from the private sector,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She dismissed allegations that Government was working on special facilities for the elite, arguing that the facilities will be open to everyone.