Zimbabwe: Govt Intervenes to Avert Municipal Health Crisis

Herald Reporter

Government has moved in to avert a health crisis in Harare and Chitungwiza by undertaking to pay health workers employed by the two local authorities which have failed to meet salary obligations.

The two local authorities have failed to account for funds disbursed by Treasury to combat Covid-19, leading to the disruption of operations.

Speaking after yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the intervention regarding health workers in the two local authorities.

"Cabinet noted with concern the failure by Chitungwiza Municipality and Harare City Council to pay nurses and other health personnel, resulting in a reduction in service delivery. The two municipalities have also been unable to account for financial resources availed by Treasury towards the Covid-19 response.

"Cabinet directed that nursing staff in the two municipalities be placed under the Public Service Commission and be paid through the Salary Service Bureau.

"Risk allowances for the affected workers will also be paid. Cabinet also tasked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that the municipalities account fully for the resources that they were allocated as part of the country's Covid-19 response," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She also highlighted the importance of vaccines in reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the citizenry.

"Cabinet wishes to urge citizens to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in view of compelling evidence that vaccination reduces the need for hospitalisation and also reduces infection rates and deaths," said the minister.

Minister Mutsvangwa also gave statistics on the receding cases which she attributed to the response measures instituted by the Government.

She urged people not to drop their guard as the threat of the pandemic was still big

"Cabinet was informed that the number of infections decreased slightly, with a total of 14 275 cases being recorded during the week under review, compared to the 21 346 cases recorded the previous week.

"This reflected a 49,5 percent decrease, as the country's efforts to contain the pandemic showed a high level of effectiveness," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Government has placed orders which will see the country being guaranteed of around 18 million vaccines to achieve herd immunity. Treasury has so far paid for around 12 million vaccines.

The minister said Zimbabwe was expected to take delivery of another 1,5 million Sinopharm doses from China on Friday.

"Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that one million doses of the Sinovac vaccine were received on July 25, 2021.

"Another consignment of 1,5 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine are expected in the country on July 30, 2021," she said.

There are efforts by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to engage retired health workers to act as vaccinators to expedite the country's inoculation programme.

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