Masvingo Lockdown Monitoring Update: 19 May 2020

Chiredzi – Twelve employees from Gonarezhou National Park have tested positive to Covid-19 virus following tests done on Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits at a private laboratory in Chiredzi yesterday. The 12 were among 62 employees from Gonarezhou who went for mandatory Pre-Industrial tests at Lancet Laboratory as the animal sanctuary prepares to re-open early next month. Chiredzi District Medical Officer Brian Dhladhlara confirmed the development but said the results will only be conclusive after Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, which were conducted today. He also said the 12 were advised to isolate themselves while at their homes. The 12 had their specimens collected at Chiredzi Hospital today for PCR tests, which are being done by the same laboratory, and the results are expected tomorrow morning. The RDT checks to see if a body is reacting to the presence of a virus, hence its results are not accurate because the test may detect the body’s response to other viruses other than Covid-19.

Zimbabwe is currently on level 2 of the national lockdown, which permits some formal businesses to resume operations many people are in need of transport to and from work. And the Statutory Instrument (SI) 99 of 2020 Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) National Lockdown (Amendment Order No.5, 2020) stipulated that public buses are the only mode of public transport allowed. Omnibus like Kombis and smaller taxis are still not permitted to operate. Zupco buses are still the only mode of public transport allowed to ferry passengers while private players and smaller taxis remain banned, a situation that has seen some passengers stranded with no transport to and from work. This has resulted in a critical shortage of transport for workers commuting to and from their respective places of employment. For these bus rides, people queue for hours and they carry fewer passengers per trip. And as a result, some employers have enlisted transport companies to ferry their employees to work and back, which is an additional cost on companies that are trying to resume operations,” read the statement.

About MACRAD

Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) Trust is an independent Zimbabwean Civil Society institution committed to the development of socio-economic rights and agrarian systems that enhance equitable land rights and sustainable land uses throughout Zimbabwe. MACRAD interacts with various organizations and communities to assist them in developing capacity for policy formulation and research. It also facilitates policy dialogue among communities, governments, academics, civil society and others on land and agrarian development, especially the land rights of marginalized social groups. Masvingo Center for Research Advocacy and Community Development (MACRAD) is driven by a desire to contribute towards improved rural livelihoods that should lead to greater capacities for the rural poor to determine their own destinies and contribute towards national development. MACRAD’s approach entails encouraging continuous policy debates and refinement of policy. This is achieved through generation and provision of research based information, platforms for dialogue, creating and nurturing a policy community in Zimbabwe. The ambition of Masvingo Center for Research Advocacy and Community Development (MACRAD) is to provide leadership in socio-economic justice and land-agrarian policy processes, to become a Centre of Excellence and remain an independent and credible center for knowledge on social and economic justice.

Source: Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) Trust