Zimbabwean gov’t further cuts staff working at office amid surging COVID-19 cases

A worker takes part in making surgical gowns used by COVID-19 frontline medical workers at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, Sept. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Tafara Mugwara)
A worker takes part in making surgical gowns used by COVID-19 frontline medical workers at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, Sept. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Tafara Mugwara)

The Zimbabwean government said Wednesday that it was reducing the number of workers present at the office to 10 percent to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A memorandum from Acting Secretary of the Public Service Commission Moses Mhike to heads of government ministries announced the new measure regarding the containment of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Mhike said given the continued surge in COVID-19 infections, ministries, government departments and agencies should reduce on-site staff for the period Jan. 21 to Feb. 3 from 30 percent to 10 percent, except for the Ministry of Health and Child Care and designated critical services.

Mhike urged the heads of ministries to ensure that staff members working from home maintain efficient and productive by offering them necessary facilities.

The government previously reduced the size of its workforce coming to office by 70 percent in line with lockdown measures, but a surge in infections has taken it a step further.

Zimbabwe has to date recorded 29,408 infections with 879 deaths from the disease.