Govt, doctors reach consensus on COVID-19 response

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

The government has agreed to ensure that frontline health workers are provided with adequate resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was after the Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human rights (ZADHR) approached the courting seeking to and to compel the Minister Moyo, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza, who were cited as first, second and third respondents respectively, to urgently provide protective equipment for all professionals in the front line and the general public.

The matter filed under case number HC2163/20 was heard before High Court Judges Justices Owen Tagu and Joseph Musakwa who granted a consent order.

A consent order is a judge-approved order confirming an agreement between the parties. The agreement is legally binding and enforceable

“For the duration of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order, Instrument 83 of 2020 or the extended thereof, the first respondent shall ensure that adequate measures are put in place to prevent, contain and treat the incidence of COVID-19, and in particular ensure, within the limit of resources that appropriately equipped quarantine and isolation centres are established in all provinces, district hospitals and at the designated airports and ports of entry,” read part of the consent order.

The government also agreed to ensure that “frontline health practitioners working at public health facilities in the country or deployed to trace contacts exposed by infected people are provided with adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).”

According to the consent order all government vehicles and others used during the COVID-19 response should be disinfected regularly.

“Authorised Zupco buses, omnibuses and other passenger services, vehicles operated by or on behalf of the Public Service Association, the Police services, the Defence forces and the Civil Protection Authorities and commuter omnibuses and other passenger services, vehicle operated or chattered by local authorities for the carriage of staff for essential services, the carriage of sick person to hospitals and other health care are disinfected upon arrival and departure at each destination,” read the order.

The government also agreed to train health practitioners are trained on how to handle COVID-19 cases and how to protect themselves from the risk of contamination.

According to the health ministry, Zimbabwe has recorced17 positive cases including three deaths.

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