Covid-19: Mutare Nurses Face Evictions

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By Staff Reporter

THERE is rampant stigmatisation and eviction of health workers from rented accommodation in Mutare by landlords as the spread of Covid-19 in the eastern border town increases.

A situation report released this week by the City of Mutare narrates the grim picture faced by health workers who are at the forefront of fighting the pandemic.

According to the report, the eviction of health workers has been on the increase especially in the high density suburb of Sakubva.

The city noted health workers were complaining of failing to report for duty after eviction from rented accommodation.

Most of the evicted workers were also failing to find new rented accommodation as they were being stigmatised by landlords.

The situation was worsened by the increase in the number of health workers who were testing positive for Covid-19 hampering service delivery due to staff shortages.

Mutare has 100 confirmed Covid-19 cases, nine deaths and 27 recoveries.

“Of the nine cases, four had a post mortem diagnosis made after community deaths had occurred. The rest presented symptomatic, three had co-morbidities with severe symptoms of Covid-19 and were admitted in hospital, later deteriorated whilst admitted and died. The two had moderate symptoms on diagnosis but worsened over time and succumbed to the disease,” the council report notes.

According to the report, security forces were also making life difficult for health workers who they harass at roadblocks.

“There is health care worker fatigue and burnouts as they work round the clock with lack of psycho-social support and allowances.

“There is reduced compliance to laid down Covid-19 prevention behaviours by residents which has given rise to an increase in local transmissions. Residents have not heeded to the call to continue wearing face masks and continued hand hygiene even amongst their relatives,” said the report.

The local authority said the cost borne at designated isolation facilities was prohibitive and unsustainable.

“Fuel and vehicle shortage is making rapid response, contact tracing and surveillance difficult.”

The council went on to recommended to companies to scale-down on staff members reporting for duty with the introduction of e-working, the continuation of national dusk to dawn curfew and continued closure of social public areas.