DOCTORS and nurses have raised alarm over the number of health workers who are contracting the lethal coronavirus due to lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), the Daily News reports.
This comes as at least five nurses are said to have tested positive for the disease last week at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare. The president of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina), Enock Dongo, told the Daily
News yesterday that nurses were contracting Covid-19 in worrying numbers due to inadequate
“We are facing PPE challenges. Health workers are panicking and they are living in fear because of the resurgence of positive cases. “The situation on the ground is like going to war without a gun and we are not happy. We are
receiving reports of our members who are testing positive for the virus.
“We are currently compiling the statistics of health workers who have tested positive,” Dongo said.
The secretary-general of the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA), Aaron Musara, also confirmed to the Daily News that health workers were increasingly fearful of contracting the virus.
“We just need the government to provide adequate PPE. Health workers are testing positive to Covid-19 because they don’t have enough PPE.
“People are scared. They are not speaking out because they are being threatened and suspended. Health workers are tired of talking without anything happening,” he said.
Last month, the government said 653 healthcare workers had been infected by the deadly coronavirus since its arrival in the country. All of them had recovered. On Tuesday, the country recorded 95 new cases, bringing the number of infections since March to more than 10 000 — including about 280 deaths.
Efforts to get a comment from the Health Services Board (HSB), which is the employer of all workers in the public health system, proved fruitless yesterday.
Initially, HSB deputy director for public relations, Tryphine Dzvukutu, asked the Daily News to send questions in writing, which was done.
But at the time of going to print yesterday, Dzvukutu had not yet responded to the enquiry, and was said to be now in a marathon meeting.
It is not only Zimbabwean health workers who are getting infected in worrying numbers by the novel virus. As of mid-November in South Africa, 35 490 health workers had tested positive for Covid-19 — including 338 deaths. Global statistics also show that health workers account for about 10 percent of the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus around the world.
At the height of the pandemic, at least 29 Zimbabweans working in the United Kingdom’s health care system succumbed to the virus.