Health Workers Face Eviction As Landlords Fear Covid-19 Exposure


AS the spread of Covid-19 increases in Zimbabwe, some homeowners in Bulawayo have reportedly started evictions on some health workers renting their properties for fear they will expose them to Covid-19.

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The most affected tenants are health workers at Mpilo Hospital and the United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) where several nurses recently tested positive for the global pandemic.

Last week, 18 health personnel working in the same ward at UBH tested Covid-19 positive after allegedly attending to an infected patient while 68 workers at Mpilo hospital went into self-isolation at home after a 79-year-old woman, who tested positive, died at the referral facility.

Some health workers, who are tenants in various suburbs in Bulawayo, told they were now being stigmatised where they reside following confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Mpilo hospital.

“We are now a curse in the community because of this Covid-19. Last week, I was given one month’s notice to vacate my place where I was staying in Mzilikazi,” a nurse, who only identified herself as Charity said.

“The homeowner said I was now a risk to his family because of my work which involves getting in touch with the ill.”

Another health worker, employed as a nurse aide at UBH hospital, said she was evicted from the two rooms she was renting in Khumalo suburb.

“The story which appeared in the press saying 18 people had been made to self-isolate at UBH made my life and those of my children hard,” she said.

“I am now homeless because of that story. My landlord simply told me that I was no longer welcome at her premises because I am working at an institution where there is Covid-19.”

A Paddonhurst house owner, James Kuzipa, said following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country in March this year, he is now more particular about people whom he offers accommodation.

“I used to offer a lot of nurses accommodation at my place because my place is close to both UBH or Mpilo,” he said.

“Now because of this Covid-19, I am forced to do a thorough screening of people whom I offer accommodation.”

When reached for comment, Mpilo hospital acting chief executive, Solwayo Ngwenya said he does not speak to journalists through the phone.

“I do not speak to journalists over the phone,” he said before cutting his mobile phone.


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