BULAWAYO has closed all of its Covid-19 quarantine centres owing to shortage of public space to accommodate returnees.
At the peak of the first wave of the deadly virus last year, the city had seven quarantine centres including Bulawayo Polytechnic and United College of Education as major centres for those who were returning mostly from South Africa and Botswana.
The other quarantine centres were Youth Centre, Townsend High School, Gifford High School and Standard Hotel.
Bulawayo provincial welfare officer, Fanwell Dzoma revealed that the city was now using Esigodini and Bubi districts for quarantine services.
“For now, there is no quarantine centre for Bulawayo, those in need of quarantine are now being accommodated at either Inyathi Public Training Centre in Bubi or Eskhoveni Public Service Training Centre at Esigodini,” Dzoma said during an online reform indaba meeting hosted by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) on transparency and accountability of Covid-19 resources.
“The challenge why we no longer have a quarantine centre in Bulawayo is because we don’t have a public institution that can cater for returnees, who need to be quarantined.
“Of cause, we have been using these polytechnics and schools, but when they opened, we then had the challenge of where to put these returnees.
“As a result, it was decided that since we don’t have public institutions like the other districts or provinces like Bubi and Esigodini, so we may now have to use those public institutions.”
Dzoma said after schools and colleges opened around September last year, they opted for Khumalo Hotel, however, the idea was aborted as the government was losing lots of money through bills.
He said since all returning residents are now required to provide Covid-19 PCR certificates at all entry points, quarantine centres were no longer very necessary.
“Another issue now is most of these returnees that we were receiving from the past weeks are being tested at the border and most of them are now coming with their results.
“From the border, they are transported to Bulawayo and they go to their homes, they no longer need quarantine if they are negative but for those that are positive, they go to Inyathi or Eskhoveni but they are very few,” Dzoma added.