Tuesday, 5 January 2021

PANIC AT TOLLGATES AS COVID-19 HITS ZINARA

PANIC has gripped the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) staff after one of them reportedly succumbed to COVID-19-related complications last week while five others, including a police officer stationed at tollgates, tested positive.

Workers told NewsDay yesterday that the most affected were Bindura, Shamva and Mupfurudzi tollgates, where the now-deceased and the other five were stationed. Zinara spokesperson Tendai Mugabe confirmed the five positive cases, adding they had since been quarantined.

“From the 20 employees who were tested recently, five tested positive and are now in quarantine receiving necessary care,” Mugabe said.

“As Zinara, we always follow all the recommended World Health Organisation guidelines to minimise the spread of COVID-19. These include the provision of adequate personal protective equipment and enforcing social distancing, temperature testing and sanitisation at all our offices.”

Zimbabwe Revenue and Allied Workers Trade Union general-secretary Lovemore Ngwarati said Zinara workers were edgy and accused their employer of exposing them to the virulent disease.

“There is a challenge at Zinara. There was a COVID-19 issue at Zinara where one of their workers died at the Bindura tollgate. The worker died three days ago and up to today, no fumigation took place,” Ngwarati said.

He said there was risk to not only the workers, but the travellers who pass through tollgates.“I followed up with their human resources manager and he said they were doing everything in their power to try and address the issue and to me that means nothing.”

Ngwarati said the deceased’s wife also worked at the Shamva tollgate, hence the need to urgently fumigate the workstation.

“Workers continue to go to work, no fumigation, nothing. On Wednesday at the Umfurudzi tollgate, we had a case of a police officer stationed there who tested positive for COVID-19. Workers there developed symptoms related to COVID-19, but nothing has been done,” he said.

“Workers complained and said Zinara should act immediately but nothing has been done to date.

“We are demanding Zinara to fumigate the places, test workers and those who test positive should be quarantined. We have to fight this COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t allow people to expose each other and we would want Zinara to act on this.” Newsday

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