Great Zimbabwe University(GZU) has joined other higher learning institutions in the fight against Covid-19 by launching a sanitiser production project to supply Masvingo Province as the battle to contain the spread of the novel virus intensifies.
Production of hand sanitiser by GZU's School of Natural Sciences kicked off on Monday in response to President Mnangagwa's call for local institutions of higher learning to be hotspots for solutions to the country's challenges.
The university joined the anti-Covid-19 fray after sourcing 600 litres of ethanol from Lowveld sugar producer Tongaat Huletts Zimbabwe.
This gave fresh impetus to the fight against Covid-19 here after Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Ezra Chadzamira announced the donation of 160 knapsacks to disinfect public places across the province.
Masvingo is yet to report its first positive Covid-19 case after tests from samples collected in the province all tested negative.
Speaking at the handover of sanitiser manufactured by his institution at the GZU main campus, Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo appealed for more donations of raw materials for the production of more hand sanitiser to fight Covid-19.
Prof Zvobgo said the sanitiser would be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for distribution throughout the province.
GZU stood ready to partner other local bodies to proffer solutions to challenges obtaining within the country.
"We are in a state of war and this war must be fought on all fronts. The manufacturing of hand sanitisers by our School of Natural Sciences is GZU's attempt to deal with the Covid-19 virus.
"Universities should intervene in times of national crisis as hotspots for solutions in line with the directive by President Mnangagwa that we come up with solutions to national challenges. We are not in competition but rather playing a complementary role in the fight against this virus," he said.
GZU offered to continue producing hand sanitiser that will be distributed across the province via the Minister of State's Office.
"Our appeal is for containers for storing the sanitiser which would have been produced.
"As GZU we will be responsible for manufacturing only and the relevant Government departments should cater for transportation of the product. We are not asking for money from Government but we will find our own means of producing the sanitisers."
Prof Zvobgo thanked Tongaat for donating ethanol for manufacturing the initial batch of hand sanitizer and called on more corporates to chip in.
According to the dean of the School of Natural Sciences at the University Dr Eriyoti Chikodza, they were manufacturing the sanitizer in line with international standards. Minister Chadzamira challenged the country's universities to also devise strategies that will help the country make a soft landing in the post-Covid-19 period.
Provincial Medical Director Amadeus Shamu paid tribute to GZU and other donors for chipping in towards the Covid-19 fight saying Masvingo had no positive confirmed case to date.