HEALTH experts have welcomed the new COVID-19 testing strategy announced by the Ministry of Health and Child Care this week.
The ministry consulted the Kembo Mohadi chaired inter-ministerial- taskforce for COVID-19 and resolved to set a target of testing 33 000 people countrywide by April 30.
Experts have described the development as a foot forward in identifying positive cases and break the cycle of infection.
The new testing criteria includes people with influenza like illnesses, all contacts despite not showing symptoms, all cases fitting case definition,all cases with pneumonia and all frontline workers among others.
The new criteria will also see all travellers coming from affected areas will be subjected to Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for screening on arrival and PCR on discharge.
“We welcome government’s move on testing and tracing, it gives them a clear picture and informs them in line of reaction, unlike shooting in the dark.
“The idea is to break the cycle of infection and all affected contacts will be quarantined and that contains new infections,” said a medical doctor who refused to be named.
“Testing was long overdue to ensure proper mapping and knowledge of demographics to ensure neccssary interventions,” opined another expert.
Concerns were however raised on the availability of funds to roll out the new strategy as it requires purchase of more test kits.
Already, fake test kits have invaded the market with unscrupulous dealers capitalising on the crisis.
To date, Zimbabwe has tested a cumulative of more than 600 samples between Harare and Bulawayo centres.
Meanwhile, United States president Donald Trump has halted funding to World Health Organisation.