Cross Borders Association has signed an agreement with a Bulawayo based laboratory Care which will be conducting PCR tests at affordable price of US$15.
The boost comes at a time Covid-19 has hit hard on traders where laboratories are charging US$60 for a PCR certificate which last for 72 hours to individuals cross the border.
Traders will have to be tested at US$15 in their respective districts and results will be send to them before they get their PCR certificates.
The association’s president Killer Zivhu said the development will save the traders from being charged the US$60 by other laboratories across the country.
“We have reached an agreement with Kei laboratory based in Bulawayo where we want to save our people.
“We thank the President and his vice presidents for opening up borders but at the same time, we all know that things are hard not for Zimbabweans only.
“The world is also facing recession, so paying the US$60 is expensive and it’s not affordable to many.
“So we have decided as an association that every cross border member should be tested at US$15 which is R170.
“When they are going out they get their PCR certificates and if they want to be tested again on their way back they will be charged US$10 but without a certificate.
“Our people have been idle for the past nine months, so most of them are now bankrupt.”
Zivhu said they are discouraging the establishment of laboratories at border posts.
“We are discouraging at all cost, the establishment of laboratories at border posts, let there be collection points for those who are staying at border posts.
“The reason why we are discouraging the testing of Covid-19 at border posts is because if one will travel from Kariba without knowing their status they end up spreading the virus.
“By the time they will get to the border and get tested, they will be found positive.
“So the process increases the rate of transmission and we want a situation whereby a person moves from their place going to border post knowing their status.
“Travelling without knowing their status endangers the lives of other people.
“Know your results before you leave and this comes as a boost for cross border traders,” he said.
The agreement will benefit both old and new members.
“You pay the US$15 and the other expense will be paid by the association since we have an arrangement.
“Our lab is run by professionals and we have made an arrangement so that they have all the kits needed.
“The programme is to benefit both new and old members and we will work flat out that the border will not be closed again since this is employment.
“We will work with the ministry and we are urging all relevant authorities that people are losing money every day.
“They must release the list of laboratories which have been approved to conduct tests because people are being given fake certificates,” said Zivhu.
“We are working with more than 200 doctors and 150 pharmacists.
“We are working with doctors in every district and we need more doctors so that people don’t have to travel to get tested.
“We are also in the process of working with some laboratories in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana for the convenience of our people.”
The association has been in existence since 1995 and its membership has increased to more than 2 million.
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