(Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by Editor)
HARARE – Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro was grilled by members of parliament over the delays in releasing Covid-19 results by public health institutions.
The MPs said the current situation was instead forcing citizens to opt for the expensive private sector.
Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa said government still needs to do more in the provision of health services for citizens in general and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in particular.
“Mr Speaker, the point of clarity that I seek is- the government is in it’s policusupposed to provide affordable health care but it seems they are not doing that.
“The second point is – the reason why people are going to the private sector is the time factor on getting Covid-19 results. The question is while you brag about being well-facilitated why is it taking long for the results to go out. It forces people to go to the private sector which is expensive.”
Responding to these questions Mangwiro said it was not government policy to delay the results but there were factors that were leading to the delays.
“It depends on which institution you go to. If one has their sample collected, say from Kuwadzana and they are all batched together, say 96 per test. This thing takes about four hours just to get the particle of the virus, and then it has to be multiplied or amplified to become a proper virus for us to then say this is Covid. The problem is there are many problems that cause delay.”
The minster said labeling could be one of them.
“They are all batched together then they take time to distribute. We have since moved in to makesure that the labeling and anything that causes delays is removed from the system and right now we are quite computerized especially from our central referral laboratories that people must get their results.”
“Our policy is that people must be served as soon as they come to the hospital, get treatment or travel wherever they want to go. Our policy is we want to improve our turnaround time so that things get well for everyone,” added the minister.
The country has so far recorded over 7,800 positive cases of the Corona virus, however, the infections have been decreasing in the last two weeks.
This has prompted government to start relaxing the lock down measures imposed back in March in a bid to reopen the already struggling economy.
Schools have also started to reopen in phases starting with the examination classes.