Zimbabwe’s largest mobile money platform, EcoCash, has once again urged the of use digital platforms to help the country repel an aggressive wave of the lethal COVID-19 pandemic.
“We cannot over-emphasise the importance to our customers and the public of taking all the necessary precautions to protect themselves, and to be safe at this critical time,” the company said.
It urged people to stay at home and take advantage of digital self-care platforms such as EcoCash, Ownai and others, to purchase goods and services online and avoid physical contact.
The country is currently in the throes of a devastating third wave of the coronavirus epidemic, with weekly infections rising sharply to 21 346 new cases this week, up from 8 013 last week.
This has brought Zimbabwe’s total COVID-19 case load to 88 415, with 2 747 people succumbing to the pandemic as of July 20, while 58 155 people recovered from the infectious disease.
To curb the spread of the virus, the government on Tuesday directed the further decongestion of both public and private sector workplaces to 25% of capacity to ensure the maintenance of social and physical distancing
“Reduction in mobility and crowding is good as COVID-19 spreads quickly through the movement of people and crowding. Through this move, there will be a reduction of movement in buses and workplaces,” COVID-19 national taskforce chief co-ordinator Agnes Mahomva said.
In the past month, government also introduced a cocktail of lockdown measures such as reducing business hours and banning gatherings and intercity travel, to contain rising coronavirus cases.
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In light of this, EcoCash, which is owned by Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, said it was necessary now, more than ever, for its customers to embrace digital self-care platforms for daily transactions to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
EcoCash enables customers to carry out simple financial transactions, such as sending money, buying airtime, requesting microloans and receiving international remittances.
It also allows clients to make bank-to-wallet transfers and carry out secure online payments at thousands of merchants that are integrated to the payment platform.
Earlier this week, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe chief executive officer Eddie Chibi announced that the group’s health insurance unit, Maisha Health Fund, had launched a convenient, digital way to register for medical aid cover using the mobile phone.
He said the financial technology group had extended access to its life-saving products and services by offering digital solutions that minimise movement and physical contact by the public.
“As a group, we are committed to serving where the need is greatest, and we believe through such digital innovations we will be able to widen access and at the same time ensure convenience, safety and healthcare affordability to many, using technology,” he said.
The health insurance service, which can be accessed by dialling *147# on a mobile phone, is expected to boost client safety by minimising physical contact through the use of digital platforms.
“We must continue masking up at all times, social distancing and engaging in frequent hand-sanitization for us to arrest the spread of COVID-19 and protect our families and our loved ones. And for those that must go out because they serve in critical and essential services, do please take all the necessary measures to be safe,” Chibi said.