from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S largest commercial bank has shut down seven branches and five offices after 35 employees tested positive of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) Holdings also has lost an employee, who died from the pandemic over the past weekend.
Dr Blessing Mudavanhu, the CBZ Group Chief Executive Officer, said the measures were meant to facilitate the disinfection of the offices and branches.
“We expect the offices and the branches to open within the next 48 hours after all necessary measures, and disinfection, have taken place,” Dr Mudavanhu said.
The affected facilities were scheduled to open before the end of this week.
Previously, CBZ had advised its customers to use digital platforms for transactions instead of transacting at branches.
The closure of the CBZ branches and offices comes after South African-owned retail giant, Pick n Pay, also shut down some of its branches due to COVID-19.
They are also expected to re-open after meeting health protocols.
Cases in Zimbabwe have surpassed 2 800 and 40 deaths.
Briefing the media after a Cabinet meeting in Harare this week, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvanga, said the government would escalate efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“We note with concern that in the last week, cases have increased by 112 percent,” she said.
“Cabinet noted an urgent need to escalate efforts to combat the virus,” the minister added.
Recently, two members of the Portfolio of Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Communications tested positive following a nationwide tour.
On Wednesday, minister of agriculture Perence Shiri died of coronavirus days his driver also succumbed.
– CAJ News