Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter

THE business community has started mobilising resources to fight the spread of Covid-19 and Bulawayo based United Refineries Limited (URL) has released US$10 000 to rehabilitate isolation centres in Bulawayo.

The Government has urged unity of purpose in fighting coronavirus.

The virus has infected more than 700 000 people while killing above 30 000 worldwide and the private sector has heeded President Mnangagwa’s call for unity of purpose.

Zimbabwe has recorded seven Covid-19 cases and one of them was fatal.

The business sector has been urged to desist from profiteering during these difficult times.

Zimbabwe is on 21-day lockdown which started yesterday to try and flatten the curve on the spread of Covid-19 which has seen companies providing non-essential services shutting down.

The private sector is also helping in producing sanitisers and masks which are critical in fighting the spread of the pandemic.

Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital and Ekusileni Medical Centre that have been identified as isolation centres for Bulawayo and southern parts of the country are seriously under capacitated and need face lift.

The hospitals do not have beds, linen and protective clothing for medical staff among other materials.

In an interview, URL chief executive officer Mr Busisa Moyo said the private sector cannot be left behind in fighting coronavirus.

“We (business sector) have an initiative that is countrywide that started in Harare but here in Bulawayo it’s Called Business Fighting Covid-19. We are working with Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe National Chamber of Conference, Association of Business Zimbabwe and other local businesses,” said Mr Moyo.

“It also has to do with doctors and health professionals. United Refineries has set a first contribution of R175 000 or US$10 000 that is our initial contribution but we are also going to have our engineers helping us to set up here at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital and Ekusileni Medical Centre, Mater Dei and Richard Morris.”

He said companies such as Edgars have pledged to equip the hospitals with linen.

Mr Moyo said everyone has to play their part as Covid-19 can infect anyone indiscriminately.

“We are getting involved because Covid-19 is class blind. It doesn’t matter who you are, it attacks all of us. The factory, United Refinery has 400 to 500 people that work there. There are bigger companies in the city, we are calling on them to get involved,” said Mr Moyo.

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