Civil service unions call for Covid-19 lockdown
Harare (New Ziana) – Civil service unions on Wednesday called on government, their employer, to allow its members performing non-essential services to work from home as a precaution against Covid-19.
In a statement, the Apex Council said civil service members offering essential services, such as medical staff, were exempted from the request.
It said working from home for the bulk of the civil service, whose numbers run into hundreds of thousands, would enhance government’s precautions against Covid-19.
The country has registered three confirmed Covid-19 cases – one of which has led to death – and has taken a raft of precautionary measures to both prevent and treat cases.
“The Apex Council requests that the government of Zimbabwe immediately allow all civil servants, except those in essential services, to work from home until such a time the Covid-19 threat abates. The Apex Council makes this request in light of the measures on social distancing announced by His Excellence, the President of Zimbabwe, on the 23rd of March 2020,” it said.
“Civil servants are firmly in support of the national effort to defeat the coronavirus and to do so while they are protected,” it added.
The African Union’s Centre for Disease Control said on Tuesday that there were now more than 2 000 cases of Covid-19 in Africa.
The disease has now spread to 43 countries on the continent with Nigeria, Gambia and Zimbabwe recording their first deaths this week.
In a bid to curb the spread of the disease in the country, government closed the country’s borders to non-essential human traffic and also shut down schools, colleges and universities.
Other common social gathering placing such as sports and entertainment venues were also shut down.