Artisanal miners to continue operating despite coronavirus threat

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By Staff Reporter

ARTISANAL miners in Zimbabwe say they will continue with their operations despite the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus which has broken working routines in countries with the worst crisis.

In a statement Friday, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya said while miners remained mindful of the dangers of the disease, they were continuing with operations.

“ZMF stands in solidarity with the world during this tragic time as millions of people across the world are faced with fear, uncertainty and panic,” she said.

Rushwaya said artisanal miners will adhere to World Health Organisation guidelines while pursuing with their duties.

Artisanal mining in Zimbabwe is not just a source of income for some, but it is a lucrative venture that has seen many improve their lives.

“I urge all miners across Zimbabwe to continue mining operations whilst adhering to the health measures suggested by government and call for quick action in the event someone is believed to have contracted the disease by visiting the nearest clinic and all those who have come into contact with the same person to also visit the clinic and undergo quarantine to help stop the spread of the virus,” Rushwaya said.

She also called on government to ensure that miners were protected from the devastating disease during the period.

“We also implore the government to intervene on the issue of profiteering on sanitisers as it has become a necessity in helping to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We also seek government and donor assistance for allocation of medicines that assist with flu symptoms with pain relief,” she said.

The former ZIFA boss also called on government to avail sanitisers and masks to artisanal miners.

Since Friday, Zimbabwe has recorded two confirmed cases of coronavirus amid fears more could be reported in the coming period.