Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
EDGARS Gweru branch has become the first company in Gweru to shut its doors after an employee tested positive for Covid-19.
All the other 15 plus employees have been sent for mandatory Covid-19 testing.
On the other hand, an employee at Unki Mines in Shurugwi tested positive for Covid-19 but operations are continuing as the company says it has activated mechanisms to curb the spread of the virus.
In a statement, Edgars Managing Director Mr Vusumuzi Mpofu said the Gweru branch was temporarily closed last Thursday, after one staff member tested positive for Covid-19, thereby joining the growing list of companies and institutions that have recorded positive cases in the country.
“We wish to advise our Gweru customers of the temporary closure of the Edgars Gweru branch … to facilitate for deep cleaning and sanitization after one staff member tested positive for Covid-19,” said Mr Mpofu.
He added that contact tracing of the staff member is underway through the Rapid Response Team in Gweru.
Mr Mpofu said in line with the Ministry of Health and Child Care regulations, all staff members at the Gweru branch have undergone testing and have been cleared to resume work.
“We take this opportunity to assure you our customers and valued stakeholders that we will continue to align with and follow through the set measures provided by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the virus,” said Mr Mpofu.
The managing director encouraged Zimbabweans to always wear face masks, practice social distancing, sanitize and wash hands regularly.
In a statement Unki Mines parent Company Anglo American Platinum chief executive officer Mr Natascha Viljoen said an employee tested positive at the mine in Shurugwi.
“One of our colleagues at Unki Mine Complex contracted Covid-19. He was tested after showing symptoms and is currently in self-isolation at his home. In line with our protocols we are busy tracing all his contacts. All affected staff will receive the necessary support,” he said.
In recent weeks, more Zimbabwean companies and institutions have reported cases of Covid-19 infections which have seen them temporarily halting operations in a development that is expected to take a heavy toll on the economy.
Some of the institutions and companies that have reported positive cases of Covid-19 include Mpilo Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Econet, OK Zimbabwe, Federal Express, National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (NSSA), Pick ’n Pay, Avenues Clinic and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
On Saturday, the country recorded two deaths and 490 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number of deaths to 69 and 3 659 confirmed cases.
The Health and Child Care Ministry reported two deaths of a male (62) and female (52) at a health institution in Bulawayo which now has 20 deaths and Harare has 31.
The number of local transmissions continue to spike after 485 cases tested positive for Covid-19 while five were returnees from South Africa.
The number of local cases now stand at 2 594.
The country’s Coronavirus epicentre Harare recorded 337 new cases yesterday, followed by Midlands with 42, Bulawayo (39) and Manicaland (36).
Zimbabwe has to date recorded 1 011 recoveries.