Anglo American owned platinum mine, Unki Mines, has set up a Covid-19 testing laboratory at its plant in Shurugwi in a move that is set to ease pressure on Government’s lab in Harare, which has been processing samples from different parts of the country.
People and companies sending PCR Covid-19 tests usually wait for about one week to get the results back due to the pressure at the lab.
Unki Mines board chairperson, Mr James Maphosa said the new laboratory started operating last month and has so far done over 500 testes mainly for the mine workers.
“We have installed our own testing PCR laboratory at Unki. With this equipment, we are testing employees and contractors, and have extended this service to community members around our operation.
“To date we have tested 554 employees and contractors since the laboratory started operating on July 30, 2020. The laboratory has also been testing samples from Shurugwi District Hospital and to date a total of 159 samples have been tested from the community members,” said Mr Maphosa.
He said the lab will also help test samples around Shurugwi and the Midlands at large.
“At Anglo American Platinum, the health and safety of our employees and contractors are paramount. It’s a threat to global health in a century. This prompted us to develop comprehensive plans in close collaboration with our stakeholders to provide support to our employees and contractors, but also in our communities where it is most needed,” he said.
Mr Maphosa said the platinum giant will also be assisting in equipping the local hospital as well as distributing food parcels to the vulnerable as the company complement Government’s effort in the wake of the global pandemic.
“We will be also assisting the Shurugwi District Hospital with PPE, medical equipment and bedding to help them manage Covid-19 within the district where our operation is situated,” he said.
“Unki’s community response plan extended beyond medical support. We have also provided food support in our communities and have drilled 17 boreholes this year for the provision of drinking water for villagers within the Shurugwi district to improve access to water. We also run a national radio campaign to increase awareness on the virus.”