Zimbabwe’s largest bank, CBZ Holdings, on Tuesday shut down seven of its branches and five offices after 35 of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
The bank joins a growing list of companies and institutions that have publicly announced that part of their workforce has been affected by the disease at a time the country continues to register more cases of local transmission.
CBZ group CEO, Blessing Mudavanhu, said one of the workers who tested positive had succumbed to the disease last Sunday.
“To date out of over 900 tests conducted, regrettably a total of 35 of our staff members have tested positive for COVID-19,” he said. “One of our staff members sadly passed away on Sunday 26 July 2020, having also tested positive.”
The branches and offices which the bank has closed are all in Harare, which is one of the hotspots of the disease in the country. The bank has over 50 branches countrywide.
The branches are Selous Avenue, Southerton, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Highfield, Samora Machel Avenue, Westgate and Robert Mugabe Avenue.
“We anticipate opening of these Branches and offices within 48–72 hours for continued business thereafter,” Mudavanhu said.
As at 27 July, Zimbabwe had recorded 36 deaths and 2 702 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of the 192 new cases reported on Monday, 189 were from local transmissions.
On Monday, pension fund, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (NSSA), Pick ’n Pay, Avenues Clinic and the Parliament of Zimbabwe joined the growing list of institutions that have recorded positive cases of Covid-19.
“The results so far have revealed six positive samples amongst our staff members,” the IBDZ said, adding it would close its office in Harare for three days to allow for disinfection.
NSSA said on employee had tested positive forcing, the closure of its Harare head office.
A long list of firms including Econet, retailer OK Zimbabwe, Federal Express, medical aid societies Cimas and PSMAS have over recent weeks closed part of their operations after employees were affected.