Council ropes in army on COVID-19



GWERU City Council’s health department has trained medical staff from the Zimbabwe Military Academy and other arms of the State security agents such as the police and air force to be better equipped to deal with COVID-19 and ensure it does not spread into cantonment areas should there be an outbreak.

The trainings, which were rolled out last week, were co-facilitated by officials from the Health ministry led by Gweru district medical officer Shakespear Mureyani and Gweru municipality director of health, Sam Sekenhamo.

Council spokesperson Vimbai Chingwaramusee yesterday confirmed the development.

“The Gweru City Council’s health department in conjunction with the district Ministry of Health officials partnered to train the stakeholders (army and State security members). The training was meant to equip them with knowledge on the case definitions of the COVID-19 as outlined by the World Health Organisation so that it helps them in their work places,” she said.

“The trainings looked at signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 as well as hygiene methods that could be used to avoid spread of the virus. We also trained medical practitioners in Gweru as well as leaders of residents and churches.”

Currently, Gweru has 138 people under monitoring for COVID-19 after they arrived in the city from countries that have recorded cases of the killer virus.

Chinese nationals frequently flock into Gweru, where they own several gold and chrome mining claims.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has raised the red flag over the Chinese nationals’ operations, which put locals at risk as they do not provide adequate safety clothing like respiratory

Sekenhamo revealed that since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in China on December 31, the local authority had also trained 150 healthcare workers (HCWs) to monitor and test suspected patients of the disease.

“At the moment, the 150 HCWs that we have trained only have knowledge to monitor and test suspected patients of COVID-19, but they cannot treat someone who has tested positive. Such patients would have to be transferred to Bulawayo or Harare. So, that is an area that needs to be looked into,” he said.