Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
TREASURY has approved the recruitment of 500 medical workers as Government resolves to send all Covid-19 patients to quarantine centres and do away with self-isolation.
The employment of more health workers is expected to ease pressure on medical staff across the country in face of spiking Covid-19 cases.
On Sunday the country had recorded 567 Covid-19 positive cases, including 142 recoveries and six deaths.
A majority of the cases are returnees from outside the country.
Government noted with concern that Covid-19 patients told to self-isolate at home were not adhering to regulations.
The Government has also taken an initiative to provide bulk water deliveries to Bulawayo’s Luveve suburb and surrounding areas following the outbreak of typhoid and dysentery that has killed 12 people.
In a statement, following a national taskforce on Covid-19 meeting yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government was alive to challenges affecting the country’s health sector and was taking necessary measures to address them.
Minister Mutsvangwa said among other measures, Government will be isolating health frontline workers at selected hotels and lodges at its expense to minimise the risk of their families contracting Covid-19.
“The taskforce was informed that Treasury has concurred to the recruitment of an additional 500 health workers including doctors, nurses, and technicians for Intensive Care Unit/High Dependency Unit and isolation centres across the country.
“This recruitment will go a long way in boosting our health services’ capacity to respond and treat Covid-19 cases,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said while the World Health Organisation guidelines state that asymptomatic patients self-isolate at home, this has not been possible due to some home conditions for the infected people, who have been placed in quarantine facilities.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government has recommended to isolate all Covid-19 cases to prevent community transmissions due to non-adherence to laid down procedures.
“It has also been noted that there are some cases that have the capacity to self-isolate but are not adhering to self-isolation protocols and are putting communities at risk.
“We have recommended that all positive cases at private and public quarantine facilities be moved to specific isolation centres in order to prevent the further spread of Covid-19,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has devised standard operating procedures to guide schools in preparation for reopening.
The procedures include that all teachers, pupils and other people employed in school will stay at home if they have flu like symptoms until they recover.
“Each school shall establish a temporary Isolation Holding Bay.
“Apart from the major disinfection of all school buildings and grounds before the reopening of schools, schools should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, desks, toys, teaching aids, and play equipment,” she said. — @nqotshili