Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
State universities and local firms have increased the production of drugs and materials required in fighting Covid-19, as Government intensified efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has chipped in with the production of face masks.
Giving a daily update on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 at State House yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said tertiary institutions continue to be the shining light at a time when the country needed all hands on the deck to combat the spread of coronavirus.
“The University of Zimbabwe today commenced the production of Personal Protective Equipment. The increased supply of ethanol will see the UZ increasing its daily output to 4 000 litres of hand sanitisers per hour from 5 000 litres a day. Great Zimbabwe University has also come on board and will be producing hand sanitisers,” she said.
ZDF has started the production of face masks and is expected to have produced 40 000 masks by the end of this week.
The masks will be used by security forces as they carry out their duties during the lockdown.
ZDF has also indicated that it would have produced 40 000 litres of hand sanitisers by the end of the week.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has also confirmed its capacity to produce face masks and it is expected to begin production soon.
With regards to provision of water, Minister Mutsvangwa said the District Development Fund (DDF) completed drilling nine boreholes at Parirenyatwa Hospital and was set to drill another at Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre where children living and working on the streets are being sheltered during the lockdown.
She said the Government received a donation from local corporates of 10 bowsers that would be used to ferry and provide water for hotspots in Harare and Bulawayo.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government received a donation by Fossil Agro of Hydrogen Peroxide that would be used to disinfect major cities and towns under the supervision of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.
Said Minister Mutsvangwa: “Government welcomes farmers in areas surrounding Harare, Bulawayo, Beitbridge, Mutare, and Gweru who have volunteered their boom sprays which will be used to disinfect high population areas in these cities. Copacabana Terminus in Harare was disinfected today.”
On drugs, Minister Mutsvangwa gave a detailed update on Caps Holdings production.
“The taskforce has noted the importance of having adequate medication for the treatment of coronavirus symptoms,” she said. “In order to boost the country’s capacity to timeously respond to the pandemic, the following measures are being taken:
“CAPS is producing 30 000 bottles of paracetamol syrup which will be ready for the market this week. It is also producing eight million tablets of Vitamin C which will be on the market by Friday April 3, 2020. Once this production is complete, CAPS will move on to the production of 2,2 million multivitamin tablets. The daily production of 10 000 units of hand sanitisers will also continue parallel to that of medication.”
The minister dispelled social media rumours that President Mnangagwa tested positive to Covid-19.
She said if it was an April Fools Day prank then it was disrespectful considering concerted efforts to fight Covid-19.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the nation should be reminded that there was now a law that criminalised the spread of false information with a jail term of 20 years.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo urged people to continue observing the lockdown regulations.
He said the lockdown was for the benefit of everyone.