Striking doctors have vowed to press on with their job boycott despite pleas by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for them to return to work amid revelations that scores of people could be dying in their homes due to lack of medical care.

Mnangagwa pleaded with senior doctors to abandon the strike that began last week during an address at the burial of Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri at the Heroes Acre on Friday.

The doctors joined nurses and other health workers, who have been on strike for over a month, as they demanded salaries in foreign currency and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE)to deal with Covid-19 cases.

Norman Matara, the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights secretary-general, said the government should first pay health workers a living wage, provide adequate PPEs and equip hospitals with medicines and equipment to end the strikes.

“The government should simply meet its end of the bargain, pay health workers a living wage, provide them with adequate personal protective equipment, and equip hospitals with medicines and equipment,” Matara said.

“If they do this simple task, health workers will happily return to work and do their job of saving lives.”

“The government wants health workers to act “in the nation’s interest and exhibit a sense of responsibility’, yet the same government is not meeting its end of responsibilities.”

“Health workers cannot work on empty stomachs and without protective clothing simply because they save lives.”