Red Cross to start Covid-19 tests

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Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) clinics will soon start polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests after receiving funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation to fight the spread of Covid-19.

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ZRCS has also acquired a GeneXpert machine to be used in the fight against Covid-19 in Harare while its clinics countrywide will be conducting PCR tests.

Over the weekend, the society distributed sanitisers, hand washing buckets and liquid soap to seven old people’s homes in the Midlands province to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The initiative will benefit 35 old people’s homes countrywide.

In an interview on the sidelines of one such donation at Batanai Old People’s Home in Gweru, Mr Stambuli Kim, the ZRCS Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs said the organisation is advocating for early detection of Covid-19 cases through active screening, collection of specimen and testing at its clinics.

“Through this partnership with Coca-Cola Foundation, the ZRCS will undertake testing of Covid-19 at the Zimbabwe Red Cross clinics. A GeneXpert machine is already under procurement and is expected to be in place before the end of the month. This is expected to contribute to the national clinical testing and the identification of Covid -19 cases,” said Mr Kim.

“To enable safe transportation of suspected cases for further referral services, the ZRCS will also procure ambulance equipment fitments for one of its ambulances already in place. The equipped ambulance will increase the ZRCS response capacity for Covid 19 and other infectious diseases.”

He said since Saturday, ZRCS has been distributing sanitisers, handwashing buckets, liquid soap to old people’s homes in the country.

Mr Kim said seven old people’s homes in Midlands province had already benefitted from the Coca Cola Foundation fund.

“Already seven old people’s homes in Midlands Province with a combined population of 103 old people in their care have received sanitisers, hand washing buckets and liquid soap.

“These are Batanai Old People’s Home, Huis Vergies and Boogie Trust in Gweru, Jairos Jiri Trust centres in Zvishavane and Silobela, Rugare Old People’s Home in Kwekwe and Muus Lodge Old People’s Home in Shurugwi,” he said.

A total of 35 old people’s homes will benefit countrywide.

Mr Kim said the ZRCS will sponsor interactive radio sessions while billboards will be placed at strategic places in Harare and Bulawayo with simple key messages on Covid-19 prevention.Chronicle

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