Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
Renovations at Wilkins Hospital in Milton Park , Zimbabwe’s main COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre, have been completed.
The renovations were bankrolled by Chinese businesses in Zimbabwe in collaboration with their Zimbabwean counterparts, the Chinese Embassy in Harare and the Harare City Council.
In a statement, Harare City Council said the renovations which included putting in place ventilators and intensive care unit beds to cater for COVID-19 patients had been completed.
“The rooms are finally complete, sockets have been installed in one of the normal rooms with 36 beds, new tiles have been installed in the hallway and there are now new aluminium glass doors,” reads the statement.
The renovations cost more than US$500,000.
As part of efforts to strengthen Zimbabwe’s capacity to handle the coronavirus, the Chinese business community in Zimbabwe, together with the Chinese embassy, mobilized resources to revamp the Wilkins Hospital, Xinhua reported.
The hospital was mandated to treat suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients from across the country but dilapidated infrastructure at the hospital hampered the government efforts to curb the spread of the virus in the country.
The rehabilitation program, which started on March 13 and completed on March 30, included renovations of the hospital’s dilapidated infrastructure and the addition of previously unavailable intensive care beds.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the project, Zimbabwe’s Health Minister Obadiah Moyo thanked Chinese business community for upgrading the hospital, saying the assistance will greatly improve the country’s diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said that relevant Chinese companies also provided medical equipment including masks, goggles and medication to the Zimbabwean government. In addition, the Chinese Embassy also donated protective equipment to Zimbabwe’s health ministry.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa also expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises for boosting government efforts in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Zimbabwe has so far recorded seven confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one person succumbing to the disease. – Additional Reporting By Xinhua