MUTARE– Chinese diamond mining company, Anjin has halted operations after an unconfirmed number of staff members reportedly tested positive for Coronavirus including its top management.
Reports coming from the ground indicate that at least two workers, one from top management and another working in the plant tested positive and the company has since instructed its workers to down tools.
A well-placed source who spoke on condition of anonymity said as workers they are terrified and in panic as they feel that they are exposed to transmission due to the company’s poor ablution and sanitation facilities.
The source said besides routine checks temperature checks and sanitization, workers have no personal protective equipment, while social distancing protocols are difficult to follow as they live in groups of eight.
“We have been told to stop operations because there are some people who tested positive for the virus. At least two people have been affected one from the plant and the other is from Human Resources, but we are afraid that more persons could have been affected.
“We have at least twelve persons who could have been affected in both night and day shifts because the ones who tested positive were in contact with others during their shifts.
“So far there is no communication from the management they are just silent. We have only been told to stop working,” said the source.
“We are afraid and concerned that we will perish if there is nothing done on the ground.”
Workers have also been told to keep this information under wraps by management which has a strict non-tolerance for workers divulging inside information.
Anjin company interpreter Progress Gwenzi declined commenting on the incident saying he was not directly on the ground and was waiting for confirmation on the ground.
Gwenzi, when contacted for a comment said he had no information as he was tied up in company meetings but he was later not picking up his phone.
“I am currently in a short meeting I will get back to you with regards to that information. I am still trying to establish the facts from the ground, once I get more details I will update you,” said Gwenzi.
However sources on the ground say a health team has been dispatched on site to test the workers who are on shift today amid fears that the numbers could spike as the company’s handling of the Corona virus is shambolic.
The Bocha Diamond Community Trust (BDCT) has already expressed concerns that they could be exposed as a local community to the Covid-19 pandemic owing to alleged weak responses diamond mining companies.
In a statement, the Trust alleged that Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) handling of the deadly pandemic was lax and could unleash the virus into the community which mingles with its workers.
“ZCDC is promoting unrestricted movement of massive numbers of people from other provinces to the Marange community. This is due the fact that more than 80% of ZCDC workers at the diamond mine come from outside Manicaland.
“These workers are highly mobile as they frequent their homes during weekends, majority of the musing public transport. These mobile workers mix with our community thereby unfairly exposing our community to the coronavirus,” read part of the statement.