Red Cross plans countrywide COVID-19 centres

THE Zimbabwe Red Cross (ZRCS) is considering rolling out COVID-19 isolation centres across the country in a bid to augment government efforts in containing the novel virus, which has wreaked havoc globally.

By Moses Mugugunyeki

As an auxiliary to public authorities’ humanitarian interventions, ZRCS is playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19 through a number of initiatives, which include risk communication, health and hygiene promotion as well as food security.

“The Red Cross Clinic continues to play a critical role in the screening and referral of suspected cases after we developed an infection prevention and control policy to guide operations,” said ZRCS spokesperson Stambuli Kim.

“We are planning to establish our Red Cross Clinic as an isolation centre here in Harare to ease the burden at Wilkins (Infectious Diseases) Hospital and establish more centres using existing Red Cross structures across the country.

“We are already engaging in discussions with responsible authorities like the Local Government ministry, Health and Child Care ministry and our parent ministry, Defence ministry. We have the requisite equipment and a state-of-the-art laboratory that can be used.”

He said they had remained operational during the lockdown as part of their humanitarian call.

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“The services that have been offered include various emergencies like bleeding and miscarriages, among other services that would generally require an admission capacity.”

Kim said all individuals entering Red Cross Clinic were subjected to screening.

“So far, we have flagged 10 patients as suspected cases through our screening process. On further assessment by resident doctors, four were found to meet case definition and were subsequently referred to Wilkins Hospital for further management.”

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