Ratepayers Urged To Go Digital As Covid Infections Spike

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By Mbekezeli Ncube

DUE to the escalating cases of new Covid-19 infections, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has urged ratepayers to settle their debts using digital platforms in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

The continued spike of the new Omicron variant has created a serious shortage of staff at the local authority’s offices as employees test Covid-19 positive.

The country’s second capital acting town clerk Kimpton Ndimande has, therefore, advised residents and businesses to avoid visiting the local council offices spread across the city.

“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise its valued customers, ratepayers, and stakeholders that following the spike in the number of Covid-19 infections, we are experiencing a critical shortage of staff to man the revenue offices,” he said.

“Due to this, the council is appealing to ratepayers and stakeholders to use available digital platforms to access your balances and pay your bills.”

The local authority has also created a WhatsApp platform number for easier communication with the stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Ingutsheni Mental Hospital, also in Bulawayo has recorded 53 Covid-19 infections among its health staff.

Hospital chief executive Nemache Mawere said the pandemic had affected the hospital, adding due to the crisis, more health experts were needed to attend to mental patients.

“We have 53 cases of Covid-19 among members of our staff who tested positive to the virus. However, none of the patients tested positive from December 7 to date.  The situation has affected the institution because doctors, nurses, and other health experts have been affected,” Mawere said.

Health authorities in Bulawayo have also the city has been hit by an influenza outbreak but dismissed growing fears that it was the Omicron variant.