Mpilo central hospital in Bulawayo will be the second Covid-19 testing centre in the country in addition to Government setting up isolation facilities across Matabelelalnd province.
This will improve Covid-19 preparedness in Matabeleland as it is likely to increase the number of tests done per day.
Zimbabwe has 13 confirmed cases of the deadly virus which has claimed three lives.
The country reported its first case on March 20 and so far, as of 10 March it had tested only 392 people for COVID-19
Testing was being conducted only in Harare; all specimens had to be sent there.
This parked fear that the virus was going undetected and the numbers are not indicative of the real coronavirus situation.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwa said Mpilo hospital has received specimens from 8 suspected covid-19 cases and more are expected to come in.
“Come morning Mpilo Hospital will be the second Covid-19 testing centre in the country after it takes specimens from 8 suspected Covid-19 cases from Thorngrove Hospital. Further samples will be collected from among the over 400 people from Botswana quarantined at Plumtree,” he tweeted.
In earlier communication on his twitter page, the secretary for information said Covid-19 centres are being set up in Lupane, Nyamandlovu and Nkayi amongst other areas.
He said: “In Lupane the Isolation Centre is at St Luke’s Provincial Hospital. The hospital has converted the former MDR TB ward into an Isolation Centre.
Thorngrove Isolation Centre is still under renovation and the only facility which can take Covid-19 patients is Ekusileni medical centre.
In Nkayi, Fanison Isolation centre is still being set up.
“The place needs to be connected to the power grid and its sewer system needs attention. All this work is in progress and the centre is not yet ready,” he said.
This comes after there was a serious backlash from Zimbabweans following the death of a 79 year old Bulawayo man whose results came four days after his death.
Last week, Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) blasted Government for negligence saying the way they dealt with the case left a lot to be desired.
They said this was evidence of the country’s lack of preparedness.