Zimbabwe: 13 Nurses Arrested for Violating COVID-19 Laws

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Thirteen nurses were arrested yesterday at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, formerly Harare Central Hospital, for allegedly contravening Covid-19 lockdown regulations .

Most of them were fined between $200 and $500.

Police said the nurses were arrested for violating regulations relating to social distancing and for not wearing face masks.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests saying: "We have arrested 13 nurses at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital for contravening Covid-19 lockdown regulations which relate to social distance guidelines. They were fined amounts ranging between $200 and $500."

Government has banned all political rallies and demonstrations, among other forms of public gatherings, in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Nurses, mainly those at central and provincial hospitals, withdrew their labour on June 18 and continued to boycott work yesterday claiming they were incapacitated. However, a number of nurses at district level were still reporting for duty.

Following industrial action by nurses last month, the Health Services Board said the 50 percent pay rise and the US$75 Covid-19 allowances awarded by Government were a temporary arrangement to cushion Government workers while salary negotiations continued.

HSB chairperson Dr Paulinas Sikhosana said they were waiting for guidance from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on the potential Government offer to be taken for the actual negotiations with health workers' representatives.

Health workers have welcomed the cushioning allowance by Government but say they need to be treated differently from the rest of the civil service since they have been reporting for duty during the Covid-19 lockdown while the bulk of their counterparts have been home on full pay since end of March.

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