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Covid-19: Masiyiwa tips govts

BY STAFF REPORTER

Businessman Strive Masiyiwa has urged Africans to adopt what he calls the “ITTIT” formula for fighting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic as governments across the continent gradually ease national lockdowns restrictions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Zimbabwe’s lockdown would continue for an indefinite period, but under relaxed conditions.

Writing on his Facebook blog following his appointment by the African Union as a special envoy to coordinate the Africa private sector initiative for the procurement of personal protective equipment and other essential supplies, Masiyiwa said the key to stopping the disease in its tracks was to inform, test, trace, isolate and treatment (ITTIT) as a collaborative effort among the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), businesses and faith-based organisations.

“We all have to go back to work, if we still have a job, otherwise our families will starve, and our already frail economies will collapse,” he wrote.

“So how do we stop the rapid spread of the disease, other than by lockdowns?

“For me, to reduce the frequency, duration and necessity of lockdowns, the answer is and has always been as follows: I – inform; T – test; T – trace contacts; I – isolate; T – treatment #ITTIT!”

Masiyiwa said one of his companies had developed a mobile application that would help governments to manage mass testing for coronavirus.

“My team at Sasai Global will next week release a free mobile App which helps governments and citizens to manage mass testing,” he said.

“It is called the Sasai Status Report. I will talk about it again.”

The Econet founder also urged governments to rope in NGOs and religious organisations in programmes to fight the pandemic.

“I have urged governments to consider working with religious organisations and NGOs to offer the option, which has to be voluntary to work, of self-isolating in groups at churches, mosques, community centres, schools, supported by faith leaders,” he said.

“In Zimbabwe, our family foundation has partnered with church leaders to set up 20 such centres in case there is a major outbreak.”

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