Coronavirus in Zimbabwe: Nurses strike to condemn lack of equipment

Thousands of Zimbabwean nurses launched a strike on Wednesday to protest the lack of equipment to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in their failed health system, their union says.

Zimbabwe has so far confirmed three cases of Covid-19. One of the patients, 30, died.

“We take care of many people, some of whom may be infected. Therefore, the risk of contracting the disease is very high, “said Enock Dongo, president of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina).

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“We travel to work and we can help spread the disease,” he said, “at least the government should try to provide us with the necessary protective equipment.”

Zina therefore called on its 15,000 members to stop working as of Wednesday, demanding from the authorities appropriate protective equipment, access to water and a risk premium against coronavirus.

Doctors at Harare Central Hospital, one of the most important in the country, threatened to follow suit quickly for the same reasons.

“We make it very clear here that our members can no longer perform their duty,” Dr Tawanda Zvakada, director of the Zimbabwe Association of Hospital Physicians () for the facility, said in a consultation. of.

The effects of the epidemic can be very violent

The effects of the epidemic can be very violent in Zimbabwe and deep for twenty years in a catastrophic economic crisis.

The country has recently returned to lack of basic necessities, currency devaluation and hyperinflation. Due to lack of resources, its health system is difficult. Hospitals lack everything: medicine, materials, cleaning materials and even water.

The patient who died of Covid-19 this week died in a hospital that did not have a ventilator, his family accused.

The government has for several days said that it is fully prepared to deal with the pandemic.

Customs officials who worked at Harare Capital International Airport on Wednesday also left their jobs to report the lack of protective equipment.

“The agents will not return to work until measures are taken to reduce the risks they face,” they said in a statement to authorities.

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