The government has bowed to requests for special accommodation from Zimbabwean doctors during their potentially dangerous experiences with patients with COVID-19.
This was revealed Thursday by Vice President Kembo Mohadi during a meeting with delegates from the Insurance and Pensions Commission in Harare.
Zimbabwean doctors who are training frontline soldiers against the current battle against the coronavirus have requested special accommodation away from home for fear of infecting loved ones with the dreaded disease.
Recently, a nurse at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo was infected with COVID-19 after unwittingly attending a coronavirus patient without any protective clothing.
The patient has since died.
The experience fueled requests for separate accommodation by medical staff through their representative, the Association of Senior Hospital Physicians of Zimbabwe (ZSHDA).
Mohadi revealed that hoteliers have agreed to house doctors during the fight against the pandemic.
“We had the Association of Senior Hospital Physicians in that same room,” said the vice president.
“They told us they were very worried about going home after treating patients. They would like to be isolated.
“They would love to be somewhere like a hotel where they don’t meet their families because they don’t want to pass the deadly disease on to their loved ones and we thought that was a positive thought.
“That done, we called the hoteliers and they came to that same room and told the situation that our frontline fighters would not want to go back to their families for fear of passing the disease on to their families, so can you give them this accommodation so that they are isolated and that they have accepted this in principle, I’m sure they finalized it yesterday.
“So everyone’s on board. We’re in the same boat. We haven’t left anyone behind.”
Old Mutual, a leading life insurer, has also partnered with government, among other stakeholders, by offering doctors life insurance for six months a package that can also motivate doctors during the fight against COVID- 19.
Lillian Mbayiwa, Head of Marketing and Innovation at Old Mutual Group, also attended the meeting with the ministerial working group chaired by Mohadi.
Mbayiwa said: “First and foremost, our wish and desire is to make sure that they are protected (the doctors) and that any deaths should be avoided.
“We have put them on life coverage. Life coverage will apply to all medical personnel fighting on the front lines of COVID-19 and coverage will be free to all health workers for six months.”
The government’s decision may also have been influenced by a High Court order on Tuesday directing the government to provide healthcare workers with protective gear and deploy mass tests against the deadly coronavirus.
An association of human rights doctors brought the case to force the government to strengthen the protection of public hospitals and health workers.