Wednesday, 4 March 2020


Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital, which is the country’s isolation centre for suspected coronavirus patients, is set to undergo a facelift following a commitment by the Chinese Government to assist the country in further strengthening its national response towards any suspected cases.

Units covering diagnosis, isolation and management of any suspected cases are targeted under this new partnership, in which China is also hoping to work with local enterprises to make the facelift a reality.

Officials from the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe are expected to visit the isolation centre today (Thursday) to assess gaps needing further strengthening and respond accordingly. 

In an interview soon after meeting Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo and his team from head office as well as Harare City Council, Deputy Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zhao Baogang said China was ready to assist African countries in building strong systems against coronavirus.

“Here in Zimbabwe, the Chinese Embassy is working very closely with the Government, through the Ministry of Health and we are ready to provide equipment, to enhance the capacity of the hospital and also to upgrade it,” said Mr Baogang.

Without announcing how much was committed to the project, Mr Baogang said with the joint efforts from other stakeholders, the country should be able to mobilise all necessary resources to fight against coronavirus disease.

“We want to take the lead. While we are the first country to offer help, we also call upon other countries, developed countries and international organisations to offer help to African countries including Zimbabwe,” he said. 

Responding to the Chinese’s latest gesture, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Moyo said the assistance will go a long way in further strengthening the country’s preparedness and give confidence to health workers on the safety of their working environment.

“We are very happy with the assistance that the Chinese Embassy is going to be offering us towards upgrading of our isolation facility. This will help a lot and improve further our preparedness while giving confidence to our staff as well that they are also working in a safe environment,” said Dr Moyo.

Zimbabwe has not yet recorded any case of coronavirus but previously isolated two suspected cases for further investigations, both cases of which tested negative to the virus. Herald


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