Zimbabwe’s business community has joined the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in the country with a taskforce now in place to spearhead the response.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The country had recorded seven cases of the coronavirus by Friday with popular broadcaster Zororo Makamba being the first Zimbabwean to die of the disease amid concerns that the health delivery system is not ready to handle the scourge.
A top business executive Precious Nyika, has been chosen to lead the Business Fighting Covid-19 Trust and would be deputised by prominent industrialist Busisa Moyo.
“As part of efforts to prevent and reduce the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Zimbabwean corporates have joined hands to set up the ‘Business Fighting Covid-19 Trust’ as a national corporate social responsibility initiative,” Nyika said.
“The goal of the initiative is to rapidly deploy flexible resources to assist in the equipping and administration of existing medical facilities for the benefit of the Zimbabwean population.”
The Trust would raise donations from corporates, individuals and other donors both local and in the diaspora.
“In order to establish an effective and integrated effort and to harness the breadth of Zimbabwe’s general corporate social investment, in-kind contributions are to be delivered to the Trust’s administration office at a location, which is to be advised,” Nyika added.
“The Trust aims to complement the work of public health officials.
“The Trust will work with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to provide the necessary guidance on the areas of need and to identify facilities fit for use in line with their established protocols.
“Management of the Trust will be supported by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.”
The coronavirus disease was first detected in China late last year and has since spread rapidly across the world, killing tens of thousands of people and infecting hundreds of thousands others.
Zimbabwe’s response to the pandemic has been hampered by lack of funds to equip hospitals and to buy personal protective equipment for health care workers.