The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has stepped in to complement government efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by availing two facilities for utilisation in combating the deadly virus.
COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation and a national disaster by the Government.
The former Beitbridge Rainbow Hotel will be used as a transit isolation centre to cater for returning residents from South Africa. This means every Zimbabwean who passes through the Beitbridge border post from South Africa will be quarantined for 21 days at the NSSA facility as a precautionary measure. Zimbabwe's southern neighbour is also battling to contain COVID-19 with an infection rate of over 1,000.
NSSA has also availed its Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo for accommodation of patients undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
NSSA's Acting General Manager, Arthur Manase, said as an Authority that was formed to provide social security for the generality of Zimbabweans, it was befitting for NSSA to step in to complement government's efforts.
"As you know His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa recently declared COVID-19 a national disaster, which means every Zimbabwean is expected to play their part in fighting this deadly virus. Through the banner, 'NSSA for Good', we have availed the two facilities to government as our humble contribution towards this national cause.
We also remain committed to rendering further assistance within our ability, as may be requested by government," said Manase.
In addition to the two facilities, NSSA recently donated towards the repair of an ICU ventilator at Mutare General Hospital. Ventilators are crucial in managing severe effects of COVID-19 as they assist patients with breathing.
Manase said NSSA was also concerned about the welfare of pensioners during this difficult time.
"We have taken measures to help our pensioners, who constitute a very vulnerable group in times such as these, by awarding them a once off discretionary bonus that is equivalent to a month's pay-out. This bonus will be incorporated into our April payroll; hence our pensioners can look out for it via the usual channels.
"I however want to encourage pensioners not to visit banks but resort to alternative means to access their money, such as mobile money and bank cards. Pensioners should also observe social distancing and are strongly discouraged from joining long queues for commodities. NSSA appeals to shops and service providers to consider the plight of pensioners by making special arrangements for them to be served in a safe environment.