By Tinashe Mungazi
Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has placed about 35 employees at 3 Main Underground on isolation after an employee tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
According to sources at the coal mine, around 35 employees have been placed under self-isolation.
The company quickly responded by disinfecting the mine.
“Around 35 people were sent home after an electrician at 3-Main tested positive Covid19 positive. The mine is still operational though after it was disinfected,” said a source close to the development.
Contacted for a comment, HCCL Corporate Affairs manager Rugare Dhobbie declined to comment and referred the matter to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“I cannot comment on the matter the ministry of health has jurisdiction in the matter. I’m sure if you contact them they should be able to assist.”
Efforts to get a comment from the District Medical Officer Dr Fungaiyi Mvura were fruitless as she wasn’t answering her mobile phone.
According to the daily update from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, three new positive cases were recorded in Hwange urban.
The town does not have a quarantine facility and authorities had been allowing self-isolation with the trend so far revealing an 80 percent recovery rate.
The district recently recorded its first Covid-19 death after a 65-year-old woman tested positive for the virus after postmortem.
Meanwhile, Greater Hwange Residents Trust expressed concern over the development arguing that sending workers to self isolate without putting in place precautionary measures at communal toilets exposed residents to risks of contracting the disease.
“The fact that Hwange Colliery is dominated by public bathrooms and public toilets that have no flushing systems will be conducive to the spread of Covid-19 and we urge the management to speed up in fixing the flashing system, provide running water, put sanitizers at the entrances of public facilities and work closely with the community, ” said the organisation’s coordinator, Fidelis Chima.
He said given the challenge of accessing water for hygienic purposes in the face of the pandemic the public continued to be exposed to risks of contracting the deadly virus.
“Remember Greater Whange Residents Trust took Hwange Colliery company to court to improve on water supply and basic hygiene at the public toilets and bathrooms since we are facing Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately, the court said our case is not urgent and we should proceed through an ordinary application. Now that there are cases of COVID-19 fears at the mine, we are afraid that most of the workers use public toilets and bathrooms and chances of these facilities to be conduits are high. “