Zimbabwe will in the coming weeks conduct mass COVID-19 tests targeting 100,000 people, as local community transmission surges, state media reported on Monday.
Authorities will seek to identify, trace and isolate all suspected cases, The Herald newspaper said.
Zimbabwe reported 133 new cases on Sunday, 116 of which were local communnity-transmission ones. The other 17 are citizens who returned from South Africa.
Twenty-two of the local cases are contacts of known confirmed cases and investigations are underway to establish the source of infection for the other 94, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said in an update Monday morning.
The new cases pushed the country’s total to 1, 611, of which 791 are local infections while 820 are imported.
Harare City Council’s director for health services Prosper Chonzi said the capital city would do about 30,000 tests on willing residents, with all community clinics involved.
The country has seen a surge in the number of positive cases with the latest figures from the Ministry of Health and Child Care showing that local transmissions were rising exponentially, with deaths going up to 25 since end of March.
As of Sunday, the country had recorded 1,611 positive cases, of which 791 were local infections while the remainder were imported.
“We are intensifying community testing for COVID-19 and at the moment our staff are busy pitching up tents to commence the process,” Chonzi said.
He said the process would start off with rapid diagnostic testing, from which those found positive would be tested again using the definitive method known as “polymerase chain reaction.”
Recoveries rose to 472 after 30 people recovered from the virus, leaving Zimbabwe with 1,114 active cases and 25 deaths.
The country has so far conducted a total of 101,375 COVID-19 tests. Enditem