MINING houses operating in Zimbabwe are enhancing their existing emergency preparedness measures in the wake of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) disease.
Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe president, Elizabeth Nerwande, revealed that miners were further strengthening their emergency preparedness measures to deal with the occupational health and safety risks that may arise as a result of the current virus threats.
Zimbabwe has three confirmed coronaviruses cases, one of which resulted in the death of media personality Zororo Makamba on Monday at Wilkins Hospital in Harare. Zororo was buried on Tuesday.
“These include strict monitoring measures to prevent incidents as well as to deal with cases as they arise. We are benefiting a lot from experiences in other countries that are succeeding in fighting Covid-19, and their experiences emphasise the need for proactive action to minimise impacts,” said Nerwande.
The measures also incorporate the capacitation and protection of health workers through training, education and awareness, prevention and protective behaviours such as handwashing.
Miners are also offering support to employees through provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) and consumables such as masks, gloves, sanitisers, soaps and water.
“While we are concentrating on our areas of operation, and as we seek to manage the pandemic, it is important to have unity of purpose amongst all stakeholders, including government and civic society. As the Chamber of Mines, we have joined hands with the relevant authorities in trying to mobilise resources to areas of need,” Nerwande said.
To minimise the incidence of Covid-19, she said health facilities at mines were also offering awareness services and vaccinations against influenza, adding that miners are also giving advice against travel, including for executives, capacitating staff with knowledge on case handling and management, as well as workplace hygiene and housekeeping.