Daily Archives: March 26, 2020

Zimbabwe Doctors, Nurses Down Tools Over COVID-19 PPEs

 Doctors and nurses in Zimbabwe’s public hospitals have gone on strike and are vowing not to return until the government gives them personal protective equipment so they can safely treat suspected coronavirus patients. Public health specialists warn that without action to resolve the matter, Zimbabwe could turn into another COVID-19 epicenter.

Doctors and nurses from government hospitals said they went on strike because pleas to address their safety concerns had fallen on deaf ears.

The issue first arose after Zororo Makamba, a well-known TV broadcaster, died Monday at Zimbabwe’s designated hospital for COVID-19 patients.

His family said the hospital lacked the necessary equipment for treating Makamba, and doctors said they did not have the right masks and protective clothing. 

On Thursday, doctors and nurses union officials addressed their members outside the country’s main hospital in Harare and circulated the audio on social media. 

“We need personal protective equipment for our doctors and nurses, and for everyone who is going to be working in the health sector, or anyone who is going to be in contact with anyone who is going to be affected by this coronavirus,” said Tapiwa Mungofa, treasurer of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association. “Where we are right now is not a position that we wanted, and as soon as our protection as health workers is guaranteed, we are ready to serve the Zimbabwean population. We are ready to fight this coronavirus.”

Fortune Nyamande, a public health specialist, is the spokesman from the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights. 

Speaking via WhatsApp, he said his organization was not surprised about the actions of the health personnel, given their low salaries and poor working conditions.

“These issues which are being raised by the government doctors and nurses have been said for quite a lot of time,” said Nyamande. “The government has been paying lip service in terms of responding to grievances raised by medical personnel. It is the time for the state to recalibrate its commitment towards taking good care of the welfare of health workers.”

Later Thursday, Health Minister Obediah Moyo told a government-controlled TV station that health personnel would receive protective gear that Chinese billionaire Jack Ma donated this week.

“We want them to be back at work and not to worry, as we are even getting some more protective equipment,” said Moyo. “We cannot joke about the life of our nation, let alone of those who look after the sick. If I could add on: The government has decided that they should get risk allowance. A COVID-19 risk allowance is necessary for all those health workers who are providing this service.”

So far, Zimbabwe has seen two confirmed COVID-19 cases, including Makamba.  Doctors are waiting for test results on another suspected coronavirus patient.

Source: Voice of America

Shanghai Electric Donates 40,000 Masks to Wassit Thermal Power Plant in Iraq

BAGHDAD, March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Shanghai Electric Group, the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of power generation and industrial equipment, announced today that it has donated 40,000 pieces of surgical masks to employees of Shanghai Electric’s Wassit Thermal Power Plant, the largest power station of its kind in Iraq, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

“The epidemic situation is gradually improving inside China, but the number of cases is still surging in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East,” said Bian Changzheng, Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Iraq.

Chinese medical aid team at the Wassit Thermal Power Plant in Iraq

Chinese medical aid team at the Wassit Thermal Power Plant in Iraq

372,757 people in 167 countries and regions have been confirmed infected with COVID-19 to date. Iraq’s major provinces have decided to close their borders, including Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, while others imposed a near-complete lockdown as precautionary measures. The Wassit Thermal Power Plant has implemented a series of on-site infection risk management and control measures to protect staff while working on-site since January this year.

“The pandemic has imposed unprecedented pressure on the health systems across the region, and the Chinese Embassy in Iraq is providing medical aid by financing epidemic prevention materials and transferring medical experts to Iraq,” Bian made the remarks during a trip with Chinese Red Cross medical experts to the Wassit Thermal Power Plant for epidemic prevention, inspection and guidance. “Chinese companies have been undertaking aggressive measures to retain control over the coronavirus and maintain local workers’ health and safety.”

Located in the central Iraq’s Wassit province, south of the city of Kut and about 120km southeast of Baghdad, the Wassit plant has four units with a generating capacity of 330MW each and two with a 610MW capacity each. With all six units being grid-connected and put into commercial operation in 2015, the plant has now been providing an overall output of 56 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per day, accounting for 30% of Iraq’s national power generation and 70% of Baghdad’s power consumption at peak time.

Shanghai Electric Logo

Shanghai Electric has been exercising the “EPC + O & M” solution by taking the lead in both the operation and maintenance of the power plant. To ensure the productivity and efficacy of the project, the company has designed and manufactured all major equipment of the plant, including boilers, steam turbines, generators, and condensers, as well as facilitated 150 Iraqi employees with practical training aimed at preparing them to operate and maintain the plant.

“Leveraging the project’s positive momentum, the plant is established hand in hand with the ecological conservation and economic development. It has also played an essential role in the social development of the region, with Shanghai Electric pledging to help the local community by improving education, health, infrastructure and the overall lifestyle of the region,” said He Zhuang of Shanghai Electric, the project manager of Wassit Thermal Power Plant.

About Shanghai Electric

Shanghai Electric Group Company Limited (SEHK: 2727, SSE: 601727) is principally engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of power equipment and industrial equipment. It focuses on new energy business, including the manufacture and sale of wind turbine and components as well as nuclear power equipment; clean energy business, including the manufacture and sale of thermal power equipment, power transmission and distribution equipment; industrial equipment, including the production and sale of elevators and electric motors; and modern service industry, including the contracting of construction of power generation plants, power transmission and distribution projects as well as other businesses.

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