Doctors down tools amid COVID-19 fears

Local medical workers have threatened to resign if they do not receive adequate protective gear and equipment to treat coronavirus patients.

In a letter by the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association President Tawanda Zvakada, the medical practitioners said they have with immediate effect stopped working.

“Whilst you continue to run around putting things in place we would like to make it clear in no uncertain terms that our members will not be able to continue carrying out their duties with immediate effect. An inconveniences caused regarding this position we have taken is sincerely regrettable but it was necessitated by a communication breakdown between the top management and frontline doctors.”

According to the association, the failure by the relevant authorities to address their concerns has prompted them to act in that manner.

They have expressed their vulnerability to also contracting the disease if they continue to expose themselves to potential victims.

“We expressed our concerns with the relevant authorities on Monday and we gave them our terms and suggestions but they didn’t get back to us.’’

“There is no personal protective clothing and equipment so we can’t continuously expose ourselves but we are protecting our loved ones at home too. We know our services are really needed at the moment,’’ said Zvakada.

The move could put the country in a serious panic especially after recording three official COVID-19 cases, with one succumbing to the deadly pandemic virus on Monday.

Meanwhile, the country has received 20 000 lab diagnostic test kits, 100 000 face masks and 10 000 protective suits from Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation.

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