Zimra Workers Flee Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport Over COVID-19 Fears

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ZIMBABWE Revenue Authoriy(Zimra) workers at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International (RGMI) Airport on Tuesday decided to down tools until after all the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols pertaining to the proper handling of the COVID-19 pandemic are implemented, Zim Morning Post has reported.

In a letter dated March 24 and directed to the Zimra Commissioner General by the Zimra Allied Workers Trade (Zimratu), the organisation said workers at the RGMI Airport had downed tools due to fear of possible exposure to COVID-19.

The development comes in the wake of the passing on of Zororo Makamba – Zimbabwe’s first coronavirus victim – who had recently passed through the airport.

“Wherefore, it has come to Zimratu’s attention that an occupational hazard which is posing grave danger to Zimra workers has arisen at RGMI Airport.

“The occupational hazard involves possible exposure to COVID-19 virus to the workers who were at the said airport when one client, who is now deceased, passed through (the facility) and was served by Zimra workers,” further read the letter.

Zimratu further said the exposure was due to the lack of proper COVID-19 screening at the international airport, also adding that upon realising the workers were exposed, nothing had been done by the authorities to ascertain their safety.

“Again, there has not been any testing and possible quarantine of the workers at the airport in the aftermath of the discovery that the now deceased client had passed through and was served by the Zimra staff.

“There is very high exposure of all staff at the referred airport due to the lack of proper stop-gap-facilities to mitigate the possible spread of the deadly virus,” read part of the letter.

The nation has been in a panic mode ever since the first death from COVID-19 was recorded, with people who have been in contact with the deceased (Makamba) leaving in fear for their lives.

Zimbabwe reportedly has only testing machine for COVID-19, with health authorities said to be relying only on manifest body temperatures and symptoms to determine one’s COVID-19 status.

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