The recommended approach for response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, was to test to enable timely detection, isolation and contact tracing so as to reduce the rapid spread of the disease. This highlighted that the laboratory as one of the core capacities of the International Health Regulations and key technical area in the International Health Security was critical in curbing the spread of the virus. Zimbabwe embarked on testing for SARS-CoV-2 in February 2020 following the guidance and support from WHO leveraging the existing testing capacity. Testing was guided by a laboratory pillar which constituted members from different organizations partnering with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. SARS-CoV-2 testing expansion was based on a phased approach using a tiered system in which laboratory staff from lower tiers were seconded to test for coronavirus using RT-PCR with National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) being the hub for centralized consolidation of all results. As the pandemic grew nationally, there was an increase in testing per day and reduction in turnaround time as five laboratories were fully capacitated to test using RT-PCR open platforms, thirty-three provincial and district laboratories to test using TB GeneXpert and 5 provincial laboratories to use Abbott platforms.