ZIMPAPERS Group yesterday rolled out the first phase of Covid-19 tests for its employees in support of the Government's efforts to fight the pandemic.
The programme will see all Zimpapers employees across the country getting tested in the next few weeks.
Group Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi, said the programme sought to ensure occupational health and safety among employees.
The first batch of 20 employees to get tested consisted of head office staff, including Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Pikirayi Deketeke.
"As Zimpapers, we have managed to roll out our first phase of the Covid-19 tests in line with the recommendations by the Government," Ms Tonhodzayi said.
"I think we are all aware that President Mnangagwa effected this latest round of lockdown which is an indefinite one. He gave the green light for industries to reopen. As Zimpapers, along with other corporates, we were also allowed to open between 0830hrs to 1630hrs in line with recommendations from Government. One of the key recommendations that the President made is that employers should roll out testing for employees.
"So we are excited that today (yesterday) in partnership with City of Harare, we have seen the first batch of employees getting tested for Covid-19. This was led from the front by the Group chief executive officer, Mr Pikirayi Deketeke, and the senior management team. We are going to be rolling out testing to all our staff members. We believe that apart from minimising the risk of the Covid-19 spreading, it also creates a healthy environment for staff.
"Occupational health and safety is one of the pillars that we take very seriously as Zimpapers Group."
Ms Tonhodzayi said the programme will cascade down to all employees across the country.
"We have employees across the country including in Harare, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and Bulawayo," she said. "Generally, in every corner, so we would like to ensure that when people come to work and when they interact, they do so fully assured of their safety.
"Each and every employee of Zimpapers will get tested. As you know, Covid-19 is spread when one comes closer to an infected person or surface, so besides testing, we are also encouraging employees to practice good personal hygiene and to wear face masks.
"We are excited today that, through City of Harare, we have managed to have the first batch of employees tested."
Last week, Zimpapers, which is Zimbabwe's largest integrated media company, launched a fundraising campaign meant to feed into to the national Covid-19 response effort.
The company, whose portfolio comprises of leading national and regional newspapers - The Herald, Sunday Mail, Chronicle, Manica Post, Sunday News, Kwayedza, Business Weekly, H-Metro and B-Metro, Zimpapers Television Network and radio stations Star FM, Diamond FM, Capitalk FM and Nyaminyami FM, will be using its wide reach to mobilise donations for the cause.
The campaign, which is running under the theme #TogetherWeStandTogetherWeWin, has been described by the company's leadership as a clarion call for Zimbabweans to come together to help the country to escalate the fight against the pandemic.