Covid-19 and the mining sector.
Cases in Africa have surpassed 1, 2 million cases and 31,131deaths have been recorded.
South Africa still has the biggest caseload in the continent. East African countries like Morocco and Ethiopia have been witnessing surges in the number of cases while countries in Southern African have been witnessing declines.
Companies like Rwanda and Nigeria have opened their borders for air travel, while Zimbabwean government has opened the entire tourism sector with immediate effect.
Zimbabwe recorded 159 new cases of the virus as of yesterday, to bring the total number of cases to 6,837 and no new death was recorded hence the death toll is still at 206. The number of recoveries stands at 5,345.
The mining sector in Zimbabwe is not transparent in terms of statistics of the pandemic. No official figures have been released from most mining companies who might have had incidences of positive cases. Countries like Unki Mine, How Mine and ZCDC have released figures of cases at their mines.
Unki Mine is one of the organisations which has embarked on a massive fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in their area of operation.
To date, the company has invested US$3 million.
Unki Mine board chairman, Mr. James Maposa said the initiatives are meant to limit the impact of Covid-19 on its operations and host communities adding that it speaks directly to the Anglo-American corporation motto to reimagine mining, to promote people’s lives.
The PCR testing lab will for testing samples around Shurugwi and the Midlands at large
Key Notable Achievements:
• Drilled 19 boreholes in Shurugwi.
• Introducing a feeding programme for the vulnerable people in Gweru and Shurugwi.
• Investing in state-of-the-art ventilators and ancillary equipment worth R10 million installed at Gweru Provincial Hospital.
• Setting up Covid-19 PCR testing laboratory at its plant in Shurugwi.
• Assisting the Shurugwi District Hospital with PPE.
South Africa is no longer among the five countries most affected by coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization.
South Africa, which accounts for half of all the cases confirmed in Africa, has had 630,595 cases. Although South Africa is still the hardest hit country in Africa, it has experienced a sustained decline in new cases for the past six weeks. Over the past month, there has been an overall 14% decrease in the number of new cases being reported each week on the continent. South Africa has recorded 636,884 cases of the virus and 14,779 fatalities. The number of recoveries is now at 561,204 which translates to a recovery rate of 88% above the global average of 86%.
15,149 cases have been recorded in the mining sector. 14,562 have recovered which is a 97% recovery rate.
161 deaths have been recorded, with the platinum sector accounting for 67 deaths, gold sector accounting for 63 and 19 recorded in the coal sector.
The 50-59 age group has been affected the most with 76 deaths recorded followed by the 40-49 age group.
The South African Mining Industry has taken a collaborative venture with the department of health to upscale testing capacity. This is through exploring partnerships with companies that already have labs set up which in turn will support community testing in specific high incidence areas. The organisations will also ensure compliance with regulatory bodies and the set standard reporting requirements.
Mines in Canada have generally worked together with employees, governments and communities to draw up new protocols and procedures to operate safely.
Dominion Diamond’s Ekati mine in the Northwest Territories. COVID-19 cases and outbreaks at operations in Canada have been rare in large part because the country as a whole has done a good job in keeping the case count low.
Credit is also due to mining companies, which have generally worked together with employees, governments and communities to draw up new protocols and procedures to operate safely.
• Workers are currently on a longer rotation of three weeks on, three weeks off, to reduce travel in and out of the site.
• mobile testing.
• Testing facility onsite using PCR (nasal swab) tests that will see everyone tested as they enter the camp and as they exit the camp.