Zimbabwe to begin mass coronavirus testing

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By BBC Africa

Zimbabwe has unveiled its plan for mass testing that aims to examine at least 33,000 suspected coronavirus cases by the end of the month.

The ministry of health said it had tested 665 people by Tuesday.

The country has so far confirmed 18 cases of coronavirus.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said the mass testing will combine polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests - using swabs to collect mucous and saliva samples for testing - as well as using a tuberculosis diagnostic tool approved for Covid-19 testing.

He said Zimbabwe had about 167 of the diagnostic tools and has ordered thousands of cartridges.

The government will prioritise testing for those with flu symptoms, pneumonia, fever, the aged, those with underlying conditions, those who worked during the lockdown, medical and government personnel.

Zimbabwe is in a partial lockdown which is due to end on Sunday.


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