The government has reversed a recent directive which compelled companies to test their workers for Covid-19 before resuming operations under the relaxed lockdown regime.
Companies now just need to check the temperature when workers report for duty, enforce the wearing of masks, sanitize hands and uphold social distancing. Addressing a post-cabinet briefing in Harare on Tuesday evening, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said:
S.I. 99 of 2020 requires companies in the commercial and industrial sectors which are opening for the first time during the period of lockdown to have all their employees tested for the COVID-19 virus using the
Rapid Results test. This is a condition precedent
It has since transpired that companies are experiencing difficulties in accessing the Rapid Results test kits for testing their employees. In order to facilitate companies in the commercial and industrial sectors opening in terms of the relaxation pronounced under S.I. 99 of 2020, Government has decided that, pending companies acquiring the required test kits to test their employees, companies will be permitted to open subject to the following conditions being met in relation to their employees…
The conditions are that workers have to undergo temperature tests upon entering work premises, companies to provide sanitizers upon entry for workers to sanitize their hands, each employee to wear a face mask in an appropriate form and employees to practice social distancing in the workplace
Mutsvangwa added that In the event that an employee has a temperature which is above that which the Ministry of Health and Child Care considers requires further testing, then such employee shall not be admitted to the workplace, but shall immediately be referred to a facility of the Ministry of Health and Child Care to enable a Rapid Result test, to be administered on such employee.
On Friday, President Mnangagwa announced that the country will extend the national lockdown which was meant to end at midnight on Sunday by a further 14 days but downgraded it to Level Two.
In announcing the downgrading of the lockdown to Level Two, President Mnangagwa also said all workers are set to be screened and tested to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement on Monday, Health and Child Care Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva said that COVID-19 testing for workers had been made mandatory.
She added that companies had to buy rapid tests kits for themselves and arrange with designated testing facilities for their employees to be tested for the virus.