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Chiwenga confirms that 78 health workers succumbed to COVID-19

By Stephen Chadenga  | News Day |

At least 23 doctors, 30 nurses and 25 other professionals in the health sector have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak in the country last year, Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga has said.

Zimbabwean Vice-President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Zimbabwean Vice-President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Chiwenga said this on Wednesday during the commissioning of Kwekwe Infectious Diseases Hospital, where he paid tribute to frontline workers who risked their lives in the fight against COVID-19.

“While these figures paint a grim picture, let us take pride in that Zimbabwe has dedicated health professionals,” he said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the 23 doctors, over 30 nurses and more than 25 health cadres who lost their lives fighting the pandemic.”

Chiwenga said government was committed to improving the working conditions of health personnel in the country, adding that the issue of salaries, incentives, transport and accommodation (of health workers) was being “seriously looked into”.

Turning to the 25-bed health facility, Chiwenga said it would not only help in the fight against COVID-19, but other infectious diseases.

“This is critical infrastructure in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“I am pleased with this development which is worth emulating and replicating in all provinces as we strive to contain the spread of the pandemic and other infectious diseases.”

Chiwenga added: “The facility will not only cater for COVID-19 patients, but will also cater for all other infectious diseases that the Kwekwe community would suffer from.”

The health centre was once a Kwekwe City Council-owned beerhall. In 2019, the local authority resolved to turn Garandichauya Bar in Mbizo Section 3 into an infectious diseases hospital.

The hospital was built at a cost of $16,9 million from devolution funds as well as council resources.

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