Thursday, July 25, 2024

Three major union bodies in Zambia have launched the COVID-19 Taskforce

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The three major union bodies in Zambia have stepped up efforts to supplement government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bodies which include Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Federation of Free Trade Unions (FFTUZ) and Confederation of Trade Unions of Zambia COTUZ have formed a taskforce called Operation 100 COVID-19 Taskforce.

Speaking during the launch of the taskforce, Permanent Secretary for Public Service Management Division (PSMD), Boniface Chimbwali said the taskforce was created due to the spike in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Mr Chimbwali said the taskforce was named Operation 100 meaning it intends to support government consistently for 100 days.

He explained that the help from the taskforce will include technical, operational, media and financial support towards the fight against COVID-19.

“Eradicating the virus is our main goal as government and it gives us great pleasure to partner with the taskforce as we know if this does not happen, it may affect our social and economic development as a country,” he said.

Mr Chimbwali highlighted that the taskforce has identified target areas like Provincial Headquarters, big cities and border areas which are believed to be the hot spots for COVID-19 spread due to economic activities.

He added that some of the daily activities lined up includes fumigation, sanitizing, enforce face masking, hand washing in public places for the next 100 days.

Mr Chimbwali commended the unions for the initiative of forming the taskforce as they have gone an extra mile from the usual lobbying for increase of salaries and good working conditions.

The Permanent Secretary encouraged the general public to play a leading role in the fight against the pandemic by observing the COVID-19 health regulations.

And the Operation 100 COVID-19 Taskforce Chairperson, Inambao Sitwala said the 100 days’ work plan came up under a proven scientific evidence that adherence and compliance for 100 days can reduce the rapid spread of any pandemic.

Mr Sitwala noted that if the pandemic continues to spike, it would affect the labor movement as there would be massive loss of employment for the Zambian people.

He highlighted that the taskforce aims at providing the means in which government will be supplemented so that business can continue to be done while adherence and compliance is being observed by all.

“Our approach is Multi-Dimensional and sectoral looking at how the disease is spreading. Other stakeholders have been brought on board like the Ministry of Health, Education, Local Government, Agriculture, Defense and Home Affairs,” he said.

Mr Sitwala added that the Road Transport and Safety Agency, Drug Enforcement Commission, Market Associations and the chave also been identified as stakeholders that the taskforce intends to work with.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Health is spearheading the taskforce together with the Transport and education sectors.

Mr Sitwala further disclosed that the operation will begin to be executed in the first and second quarter of this year.

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