Addressing a meeting of health professionals at State House, Mnangagwa said the pandemic has made him realise that the same medical expertise being sought outside the country was available locally.
“However this pandemic to me has exposed government to realise that we sometimes spend time, effort and focus going outside the country when the skills and knowledge are inside the country.
“I think from now on as a result of this pandemic, we should as government change our strategy in modernising and industrialising our country by supporting institutions in the country and have less of borrowing technology from outside,” he said.
Mnangagwa added: “There is a lot that can be done by our people if they are assisted, if they are given the necessary support to develop various needs we have as a country to push us forward.”
He said the pandemic had also tested the capacity of local institutions such as universities which are currently producing sufficient hand sanitizers and face masks.
“I am happy that whereas we were focusing outside to look for these things like sanitizers, gloves, gowns, caps- these things are now being manufactured here, our universities will be able to produce these items at almost a tenth of the prices outside the country,” he said.
“I have no doubt that inside a week from now, we shall have sufficient gowns, masks, sanitizers produced in the country,” he added.
The President said the Covid-19 pandemic had also taught government to appreciate health professionals more.
“Our frontline fighters, doctors, nurses and some other stakeholders in that field their needs are now being attended to seriously than before.
“At the end of the day we shall emerge stronger as a country, we shall emerge with a better equipped, better informed population as well as better equipped medical sector,” he said.
Mnangagwa also hinted at the possibility of extending the 21- day nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
“We are at different levels of lockdown in the region. I cannot tell you whether at the end of 21 days we shall lift the lockdown. I only appeal that all of us observe the measures and comply. That way we save lives,” he said.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said it was important to test all health professionals for Covid-19.
Zimbabwe Medical Association representative Dr Christopher Samkange said there was need to test more people for Covid-19 and reduce the waiting period for the results if the country intends to win the fight against the pandemic.-New Ziana