Quarantine centres see drop in numbers

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Tendai Kamhungira

THE number of people being taken into quarantine centres has decreased easing pressure on stretched government resources, Information ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana has revealed.

This comes after thousands of Zimbabweans, returned to the country from within the region and abroad, with a large number having been received from South Africa as the coronavirus wave kicked in.

“There has been a decrease in the total quarantine centre enrolment. This helps ease pressure on the limited resources being deployed in facilities,” Mangwana recently wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

According to Mangwana, as of Friday last week, there were 1 883 people in quarantine centres, who included 1 025 women and 858 men, while the rest were children.

Mangwana also clarified on the quarantine process for bereaved families.

“There are a number of enquiries from bereaved foreign-based Zimbabweans wanting to bring the remains of dearly departed relatives home and attend the send-offs. Public Health Regulations in place to protect communities are such that you can’t be exempted from being quarantined,” he said.

A number of returnees have also been escaping from quarantine centres over the past few weeks. According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) 184 people have so far escaped, while 28 have since been arrested.
In a statement on Monday, ZRP spokesperson Paul Nyathi, said those who had escaped include two Malawians.

Their escape came after the police also recently recorded four more cases of people who escaped from quarantine centres.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police arrested 914 people throughout the country on June 21, 2020 for various offences related to contraventions of the national lockdown regulations, bringing the cumulative arrests to 75 134. On the same day, two Malawian nationals escaped from Nssa Hotel, Beitbridge after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The cumulative number of escapees is now 184, while those arrested remain at 28,” Nyathi said.
He urged the public to report suspected escapees and border jumpers to the police.

Over the last weekend, Nyathi said they had since launched a manhunt for the two men who escaped from Harare Polytechnic College, including one who had tested positive for Covid-19 and another pair, which escaped from Plumtree High.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is appealing for information which may lead to the location of 33-year-old 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 also escaped on June 17, 2020 before getting results of his test.

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

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