COVID-19 risk allowance for health personnel

Staff Reporter

In light of the continued rise in COVID-19 cases, Cabinet approved that the locum-based COVID-19 risk allowance payment model be adopted for the health personnel in the red zone as part of the incentive schemes.

This was revealed by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during the 24th Post Cabinet Press Briefing in the capital yesterday.

The Minister said some of the measures approved by the Cabinet include decongesting of both public and private sector workplaces, that the Courts of Law be opened only for remand and urgent cases, that all civil servants should be vaccinated and those that fall ill without having been vaccinated will not be entitled to the COVID-19 insurance and that all civil servants should be tested for COVID-19 at the commencement and end of the two week rotational interval.

Minister Mutsvangwa revealed that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has developed a COVID-19 third Wave Containment Plan, which include increasing the bed capacity at Mpilo and Sally Mugabe Central Hospitals, designation of Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital  and Ekusileni Hospitals as COVID-19 District Hospitals for Harare and Bulawayo, respectively.

The plan also include strengthening private sector participation, improving conditions of service for health workers, operationalising Virtual Hospitals in which every district will have a Rapid  Response Team to attend to cases of acute COVID-19 clinical distress and a review of COVID-19 risk allowances.

Same noted that the Government was concerned about the surge in weekly cases from 8 013 during the week ending 13 July 2021, to 21 346 in week ending 20 July 2021. The surge was mostly attributable to the general complacency in adhering to the set COVID-19 preventive measures both in the communities and workplaces.

As at 19 July, 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 83 619, with 53 453 recoveries and 2 622 deaths. The recovery rate stands at 64%, with 98% of COVID-19-positive cases being attributable to local transmission. The number of active cases stands at 27 544.

As at 19 July 2021, a total of 1 184 435 people had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 643 203 their second dose across the country. The country is expecting a delivery of 1.5 million vaccine doses this week and an additional 1 million doses plus 2 million syringes on 25 July, 2021.

Meanwhile, Level four (4) lockdown remains in force, and the Government continues to urge members of the public to exercise extreme caution, strictly observing the relevant preventive measures and regulations, and avoiding any unnecessary travel and to take advantage of the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and get inoculated.