HARARE, 20 December 2020 – Widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals across Zimbabwe have raised fears that more healthcare workers are at risk of contracting the virus.
The shortages in PPE have hit small and big hospitals alike, including Zimbabwe’s biggest referral hospital, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in the capital, Harare.
Healthcare workers at Parirenyatwa say it has become a new hotspot for COVID-19 infections in the country.
“Our lives are at risk,” healthcare workers at the hospital are cited by reporters as saying.
“We are told to continue working without proper protective clothing,” the source is cited by New Zimbabwe as saying.
“Senior health officials are forcing nurses to work without COVID-19 protective gear,” the New Zimbabwe reported.
“We have pleaded with the authorities to assist with PPEs but they told us that we must find our own means to protect ourselves,” New Zimbabwe cites healthcare workers as alleging.
The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has banned parties over the Christmas and New Year festive season in an effort to arrest the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
As of 18 December 2020, Zimbabwe had registered a total of 11,866 COVID-19 infections.
At least 314 people have died from complications from the virus and an estimated 9,836 people have recovered from it.