The perseverance and commitment by Zimbabwe’s healthcare workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is remarkable, President Emmerson Mnangagwa says.
In his remarks to pay tribute to the country’s front line workers, some of whom have lost their lives to the pandemic, President Mnangagwa said he acknowledges and appreciates “the relentless fight put forward by our health care workers against this pandemic.”
“Since the outbreak of “Covid-19” virus in Asia in 2019, the disease has spread to every continent. The pandemic is much more than a health crisis as it has negatively impacted the social and economic spheres of the world. Most of the gains made in the health sector have suffered greatly due to threats related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many nations are in turmoil. Zimbabwe, like many other countries, has not been spared from the unprecedented scourge, as we witnessed a sharp increase in number of infection cases and deaths to levels we had not anticipated,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said since the declaration of Covid-19 as a national disaster on the 18th of March 2020, Zimbabwe took strides towards awareness, prevention, surveillance, contact tracing and testing for the disease.
“To date, Zimbabwe has recorded a total of Five Thousand Three Hundred and Sixty-Six (5 366) deaths. of these, Twenty-Four (24) are from our health care workers.
“Allow me to acknowledge and appreciate the relentless fight put forward by our health care workers against this pandemic.
“Indeed, the perseverance, resilience and commitment demonstrated by the health care workers since the first wave of Covid-19 in March 2020 to date is remarkable,” said the President.
During the third wave of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of our staff members who have tested positive, compared to the first and second waves of the pandemic. Our deep, heartfelt condolences go to families of those who lost their lives while on duty. May their dear souls rest in eternal peace.
The President invited the nation to observe a moment of silence in hour of all healthcare worker who succumbed to the disease thus far.
“Government has been making all efforts to improve the conditions of service for the health care workers in order to retain staff and to stabilise the sector. Our thrust, has been to ensure that heath care workers are competitively remunerated; have adequate tools of trade; have decent accommodation and, are provided reliable transport,” he added.
He said various strategies have been implemented to motivate and retain health care workers, among them prioritising vaccination of all health care workers; allowances specific to the Health Sector; Covid-19 allowances; duty-free vehicle importation scheme; civil service vehicle loan scheme; a housing revolving fund through the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities; institutional accommodation and Covid-19 employers’ liability insurance cover for health care workers in case of deaths and illness.