SIX Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Companies (ZCDC) employees working in mining operations at Mutare’s Chiadzwa area have tested positive for COVID-19 following recently conducted tests.
Speaking to Zim Morning Post on Thursday, ZCDC spokesperson Sugar Chagonda said six employees had tested positive for COVID-19 and further tests of company employees were being processed.
It was not clear if they would be any temporarily closure of the mining operations to allow for disinfection.
ZCDC has been the only company operating in Chiadzwa following the consolidation of mining activities in the area by the Government.
“I can confirm that we have positive cases at ZCDC mine. We had
workers that were showing some symptoms and we engaged the
Ministry of Health and got the workers tested,” he said.
“We had six ZCDC workers that tested positive for COVID-19. We also had two positive cases of other people who are our service providers,” Changonda added.
This comes as community based organizations in Marange blame ZCDC for not taking proper COVID-19 precautionary procedures to ensure the health and safety of workers and the community.
Chairperson of Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, Lovemore Mukwada, expressed outrage over the COVID-19 situation at the mine, which he warned would explode if not given the necessary attention.
“We are very much concerned by the fact that we have the information
that there are workers who are COVID-19 positive. The fear is that
these workers are from the community and this will spread to the
community,” Mukwada said.
“I think is issue has to be dealt with as a matter of priority because
we feel that ZCDC is defying the COVID-19 health regulations by
allowing such a huge number of workers working without considering the precautionary measures. We are afraid that the virus will cascade down into the community,” he said.
Mukwada and other community based organizations that include Marange Community Trust and Bocha Development Trust are calling for
immediate action from the ZCDC and the Ministry of Health.
However, Chagonda insisted that ZCDC was leaving no stone unturned in efforts to curb the spread of the infectious illness.
“Those that tested positive are on quarantine at Rowa Training Centre in Mutare. Health staff is closely monitoring their conditions and we are told that they are in stable condition. We are looking forward to their recovery,” Chagonda said.
“However, the vigorous testing of all workers is ongoing at the mine
and so far we are satisfied with the ongoing process. I want to
guarantee that mine workers are observing all the health precautions.
Our health teams are also on the ground to ensure that the workers
comply with the COVID-19 precautions,” he said.
As at August 15, Zimbabwe had recorded 5 072 COVID-19 positive cases and 128 deaths.