By Gibson Moyo
An all stakeholders task force has been established in Victoria Falls to carry out awareness campaigns and mobilise resources aimed at fighting COVID-19 after the resort town recorded the country` first case of the global pandemic.
The country`s first confirmed COVID-19, a 38-year-old man, was diagnosed after returning from the United Kingdom via South Africa and has since recovered from the disease.
“The patient from Victoria falls has recovered from the disease but remains in self-quarantine,” Matabeleland North provincial medical director, Pugie Chimberengwa said.
The pandemic has already claimed three lives with 11 confirmed cases.
Victoria falls taskforce committee chairperson, Brian Nyamande said they have identified three centres for managing coronavirus namely Victoria Falls clinic, Beat Aids building and Mukosana clinic as isolation centers.
“We have finished upgrading Victoria clinic and finalising Mukosana clinic, Victoria falls clinic will be used as a screening center, Mukosana clinic will be used for the actual confirmed cases,’’ said Nyamande adding that they are making good progress in equipping the hospitals.
“We have received a donation of sanitisers and bedding material from the local business community and we are waiting for a donation of two ventilators from South Africa,’’ Nyamande said.
He said they decided to have their isolation centers after realising that the only nearest isolation center,Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital in Bulawayo, was still ill-equipped to handle such cases.
He indicated that they are doing awareness campaigns to educate residents on the pandemic.
Nyamande said they are working with several government departments and are following guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and Child care.
District medical director, Fungai Mvura said the taskforce is a combination of efforts between residents and the Ministry of Health and Child Care to try and mobilise critical resources such as ventilators from outside the country.