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COMMENT: Desperate times call for desperate measures

21 Jul, 2021 - 00:07 0 Views
COMMENT: Desperate times call for desperate measures Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe

The Chronicle

These Covid-19 times are desperate times, hence extreme action is needed.

Government’s move to further decongested its workforce to 10 percent from the current 40 percent, is an extreme action that has been necessitated by desperate times.

This is the only way Government can safeguard civil servants from Covid-19, amid rising cases over the past few days.

The extreme measures are contained in a circular issued by the Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe directed to Government ministries, Auditor General Ms Mildred Chiri and Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Martin Rushwaya.

According to the circular referenced ‘Measures for Covid-19 containment within the public service’, Ambassador Wutawunashe directed all ministries to adhere to the laid down measures with immediate effect.

“Reduce the number of staff coming to work from 40 percent to 10 percent for all the ministries, departments and agencies with the exception of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and designated critical services with immediate effect.

“Line ministries to rotate staff in such a manner that no employee shall remain at home for more than 21 days stretch.

“There shall be strict monitoring and enforcement of staff attendance at workplaces,” Ambassador Wutawunashe said, adding that only members with proof of vaccination against Covid-19 will be allowed to board PSC buses.

This bold move by Government is a direct response to the challenges facing the country. Cases are rising and people are dying.

In the past month, the country has been recording rising Covid-19 deaths and in the week starting July 11 ending July 17, a total of 462 people had succumbed to Covid-19.

More and more measures will continue to be put in place despite President Mnangagwa’s announcement last month of a dusk-to-dawn curfew, a 60 percent decongestion of offices, and also a ban on intercity travel among a raft of measures to contain the latest wave.

The measures will also come despite the fact that over a million people have been vaccinated in the country.

This is because Covid-19 cannot be attacked from a single front. Attacks must come from all possible directions.

We, therefore, urge business and members of the public to emulate Government in taking drastic action to end Covid.

Business owners should also consider cutting onsite staff by 10 percent and improving on working from home. On their part, members of the public must cut down on unnecessary travel and physical visits. We must allow the vaccination programme to go on while new cases are being reduced.

At the end of the vaccination programme, herd immunity will be achieved but after how many lives are lost?

The move by Government is not meant to cause unnecessary delays or cripple service delivery. It is meant to save lives.

As we have always said here; we can all play a part in the fight against Covid-19. This is one war we cannot afford to lose.

We have also continuously said that our lives are going to change forever. Having 90 percent of staff working from home could be the in-thing post Covid-19.

Once again, we commend Government, but the rest of us must play our part.

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