- Universities in Zimbabwe are teaming up to produce personal protective equipment such as sanitisers, hand gloves and face masks
- Zimbabwe's health workers have allegedly refused to work until they are assured they have such equipment to protect themselves
- Zimbabwe is currently under a 21-day lockdown after Covid-19 led to eight infections and 1 death
Briefly.co.za has learned that universities in Zimbabwe are producing masks, gloves and hand sanitisers in a bid to help protect people against the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The country has been left with a few functioning industries following an economic spiral that led to chaos and uncertainty.
It, therefore, ended up over exporting products; from food and furniture to building materials and even toothpicks.
A report by qz.com shows that the economic upheaval, as well as hyperinflation, led to a fall in manufacturing which had previously been supported by Zimbabwe’s higher learning institutions.
As the country is placed on a 21-day lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus, after eight infections and one death, the country has resorted to its people and institutions to help provide essential resources.
This is because there challenges with competition on the global markets for the personal protective equipment (PPE).
Zimbabwe’s current situation is further compounded by the fact that hundreds of its health professionals have refused to work until they are assured that there will be enough PPEs for them to work.
The government is therefore compelled to turn to its tertiary institutions with engineering and technology capacities to assist with a solution.
They include the University of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), Midlands State University and the Harare Institute of Technology.
The universities have consequently come to the aid of the government with hand sanitizers, masks, gloves and other personal protective clothing for clinics, hospitals and security personnel.
In other news, The United Kingdom (UK) has teamed up with an innovations hub in Senegal to develop a 10-minute coronavirus test.
The $60 million prevention and research funding package is an attempt to get a faster way to diagnose the coronavirus.
With the help of a specialised facility in Dakar, Senegal, the UK government, through Mologic, a biotech firm is working with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar.
A qz.com report shows the test kits would be manufactured at DiaTropix, the Dakar-based custom-built facility for innovative ways to deal with epidemics.
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