COVID-19: Over 320 Zimbabwean health workers test positive

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe)

More than 320 Zimbabwean health workers have tested positive for coronavirus since March, a senior government official announced on Sunday.

Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Gibson Mhlanga said so far some 323 health workers have tested positive in Zimbabwe since the beginning of the outbreak.

“Of these, nurses are the most affected, constituting 168 and doctors 16,” Mhlanga told the state-run Sunday Mail.

He said other affected health workers included people working in pharmacies and accounts departments at hospitals as well as general hands involved in the provision of cleaning services.

There have, however, been no fatalities among the health workers, the official said.

Another official attributed the high number of infections among the health workers to a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) at hospitals and clinics across the country.

Agnes Mahomva, Chief Coordinator for the National Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, told the same newspaper that the rising infections among Zimbabwean health workers was worrying.

“Every time we have a healthcare worker infected, it is of great concern to us, so we continue to prioritise them at all times by procuring more PPEs,” Mahomva said.

She said the government was “looking at how the little PPE available is being utilised.”

“We have noticed that sometimes it’s not being used appropriately. For example, you don’t need someone wearing a suit from top to bottom checking temperature at the gate,” Mahomva said.

She added: “So we are also providing that training and sensitisation to ensure that the little that is available is used appropriately in the right places.”

The concern about the rising number of infections among health workers came as confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe rose to 2,434 on Sunday.


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