Covid-19 positive returnee, 179 others escape

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A returnee who tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) is among 180 people who escaped from quarantine centres, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has confirmed.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said they have managed to arrest 28 of the escapees after launching a manhunt.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is appealing for information which may lead to the location of a 33-year-old returnee who escaped from Harare Polytechnic isolation centre on June 15, 2020 after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus and another 28-year-old man who escaped on June 17, 2020 before getting results of his test.

“Family members, friends and close associates of the two are implored to report to the police so that the spread of Covid-19 by the two can be curtailed,” Nyathi said.

According to the police spokesperson, on June 18, 2020 four returnees escaped from quarantine centres including two from Harare Polytechnic and two from Plumtree High, which saw the number of escapees increasing to 180.

He said that since May 16, police had arrested at least 180 border jumpers and smugglers.

“On Monday June 18, 2020, two truck drivers were arrested for illegally carrying passengers in contravention of the stipulated exemption directives. Cumulative arrests since June 1, 2020 now stand at 60,” he said.

Zimbabwe currently has 479 confirmed cases, four deaths and 63 recoveries. The country has been under lockdown since March.

Over the past few months, several people have been arrested for contravening the lockdown regulations.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police arrested 1 183 people throughout the country on June 18, 2020 for various offences related to contraventions of the national lockdown, bringing the total cumulative arrests to 71 977,” Nyathi said.

He called on the public to observe lockdown regulations put in place to limit people’s movements in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

“Members of the public are encouraged to comply with Statutory Instrument 136/20 which was recently put in place by the government and contains several amendments to enable certain sections of the informal sector to resume operations. This will assist the public to cooperate with police and other security service members on duty,” he said.

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