Zimasco readies for reopening

Source: Zimasco readies for reopening | Sunday Mail (Business)

The Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (ZIMASCO), says it has instituted measures to protect its workforce from the novel  coronavirus ahead of the reopening of its chrome smelting plant in  Kwekwe, Midlands province.

The company, which has 450 full-time employees and 500 contract  workers, halted production in April after Covid-19 affected its major markets  in Europe, Asia and China. China, among others have since eased the lockdowns.

Zimasco Kwekwe general manager Namatai Mapfumo and group health and  quality assurance manager Bright Chitiki, told the media during a tour of  the plant that they were not leaving any loopholes in implementing Covid-19 guidelines and regulations outlined by the Government and the  World Health Organisation (WHO).

Four Zimasco workers tested positive to Covid-19 during tests conducted  ahead of reopening. 

The company has drafted a Covid-19 safety and health policy document as  well as set up a Covid-19 response team.

“We have been on shut down since the end of March because our product  markets were ravaged by the novel coronavirus and were no longer taking  our products and at the same time our Government implemented the  national lockdown,” said Mr Mapfumo. 

“As we restart operations, we have put in place measures to mitigate  the spread of Covid-19 at our different workplaces starting from the  homes of our workers.

“All workers and visitors to our premises will be screened, anyone who  fails the Rapid Diagnostic Test and comes out positive will be  temporarily isolated at our centre where the nurses  will do a polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test and all the cases will be  handed over to the district Covid-19 response team. We have set up our  own isolation centre for our workers at a house in Chicago, which  accommodates seven patients,” he said.

Mr Mapfumo said Zimasco had made an arrangement with Unki Mine in Shurugwi  for PCR testing.

Mr Chitiki said the four workers who tested positive to Covid-19 had fully  recovered.

“Prevention starts at home. We gave all our employees Covid-19 Personal  Protective Equipment, which included sets of masks, hand sanitisers and  we trained them on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at home,” he  said.

He said the rapid response team had come up with measures to curb the  spread of Covid-19 and would be responsible for supervising and  monitoring the Covid-19 regulations.

“The team produced our own Covid-19 policy document which is being  implemented to safeguard our workers at their different workplaces,” he 
said.

In its quest to have a Covid-19 free environment for its workers,  Zimasco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CIMAS and is also  working in partnership with Unki Mines, Kwekwe City Council, Kwekwe  Polytechnic College and the Civil Protection Unit.

Zimasco operates ferrochrome mines in Shurugwi and Lalapanzi in the  Midlands province. Sunday Mail Reporter/ New Ziana.

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