Zimbabwe: Cabinet Okays Taskforce Sub-Committees

Cabinet has approved the establishment of eight sub-committees from the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 to ensure effective implementation of its mandate in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

The taskforce is chaired by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who presented a report on the country's preparedness and response to the pandemic to Cabinet yesterday.

The sub-committees are Implementation and Monitoring; Public Health Strategy and Infrastructure; Information and Communication; Materials Production; Food and Water Sustainability and Distribution; Law and Order; Resource Mobilisation and Coordination and Logistics.

Presenting the 10th Cabinet Decision Matrix, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said Cabinet commended Zimbabweans for heeding the call to stay at home during the 21-day lockdown.

"Cabinet commended the general public for positively heeding the clarion call by His Excellency President Mnangagwa to stay at their homes for 21 days with effect from 30 March, 2020," she said.

"Cabinet also approved the establishment by the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 of the eight sub-committees."

Minister Mutsvangwa said the sub-committees would ensure effective and efficient execution of the taskforce's mandate that included setting up of testing, treatment and isolation centres in provinces and districts as a matter of urgency.

They would also work on the setting up temporary testing, treatment and isolation centres in areas that did not have sufficient structures, among others.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet noted the launch of the US$2,2 billion humanitarian appeal for assistance for the period from April 2020 to April 2021 by President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa has since held meetings with traditional, religious and business leaders to seek their support in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

The religious leaders have offered Government use of their facilities such as hospitals, clinics, schools and churches, while the business community has pledged to renovate and refurbish some hospitals and other buildings into Covid-19 isolation centres.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the decentralisation of testing centres was a priority for the taskforce.

"As the inter-ministerial taskforce, we are seized with making sure that we decentralise testing," she said.

"We don't want people to come from areas like Muzarabani for testing, neither do we want people to come from Mutare for testing.

"Members of the taskforce have gone to the provinces to talk to the provincial ministers who have since the pandemic was pronounced a disaster by the President, activated the Civil Protection Unit committees and have already started identifying areas to establish isolation centres in their areas.

"In terms of testing centres, we will be able soon to give you those numbers from the Ministry of Health, but there is a lot of work being done to make sure that all Zimbabweans are taken care of."

Zimbabwe has so far recorded 10 positive cases of Covid-19, one of which resulted in death.

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