Nurses at public hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo, who went on strike on Thursday, are now back at work after the government availed personal protective equipment (PPE) and also acceded to their demand for flexible working hours.
This was confirmed to NewsDay Weekender by Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president Enoch Dongo in an interview yesterday. He said:
Authorities agreed to draft another duty roster with fewer health workers at any given time which will be effective starting Monday next week.
This will result in nurses decongesting health institutions. Also, it helps the number of nurses that will be exposed to the deadly virus at any given time.
Most importantly, the government is not in a capacity to provide enough PPE if all nurses report for duty at once, but if we revert back to the flexible working hours, the government will be able to provide the required PPE to all the fewer nurses who will be on duty.
This came after nurses at Sally Mugabe Hospital (formerly Harare Central) in Harare and other major public hospitals demonstrated after some of their colleagues and other patients tested positive for COVID-19.
Zimbabwe has experienced an exponential rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths, with 985 cases and 22 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.