More frontline health workers in Zimbabwe test positive for COVID-19

Monday, July 27th, 2020 00:00 |
A medical worker is seen at Wilkins Hospital in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe. (Xinhua/Shaun Jusa)

Seventy medical workers had tested positive for COVID-19 at Zimbabwe's largest referral hospital since the beginning of July. This brings the total tally of infected health workers since the outbreak of the disease in March to 323.

In a public statement released Sunday morning, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals reviewed that 70 staff members had tested positive for the virus since July 9, adding that 60 COVID-19 patients were admitted at the hospital during the same period.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Gibson Mhlanga said while no fatalities had been recorded among health workers so far, testing of health workers and provision of personal protective equipment was critical to ensure that numbers remain low.

"Nurses are the most affected, constituting 168, and doctors 16. Other affected health workers include people working in pharmacies, accounts, general hands working in the cleaning services as well as drivers ferrying patients," said Mhlanga.

Zimbabwe has been recording a surge in cases over the past weeks with an increase witnessed in local transmissions.

As of Suturday, Zimbabwe had confirmed 2,434 cases of COVID-19 and 34 deaths.

The surge of infections comes at a time when public hospitals are under intense pressure following a strike by medical personnel.

Last month doctors and nurses at public institutions began a strike demanding the payment of salaries in U.S. dollars.   (Xinhua)

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