Shock spike in Covid-19 cases


©️  HARARE – In a disturbing development, Zimbabwe recorded a shocking jump in the number of people infected by the lethal coronavirus, the Daily News reports.

This comes after a whopping 76 new positive cases were reported among the country’s returning residents — meaning that Zimbabwe now has 132 cases of Covid-19.

It also comes after Defence minister — also the deputy chairperson of the Covid-19 taskforce — Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told Parliament that authorities are ill-prepared to deal with returning residents and deportees.

Addressing the media after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa and her Health counterpart Obadiah Moyo confirmed that Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 infections had increased sharply.

“To date, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at 132, up from the 56 cases recorded on 24th May 2020. This translates to 76 new cases recorded over the last two days.

“Most of these cases which yielded these results were done on returnees who are quarantined in Masvingo, Beitbridge and Harare.

“The latest cases have largely been imported through returnees mainly from South Africa and Botswana. Only one case of local transmission has been recorded,” Mutsvangwa said.

She also announced that the government was ramping up security at all quarantine centres.

“Security at quarantine centres is being tightened in order to ensure that those returning from abroad, especially convicts, do not escape.

“Traditional leaders and local authorities are enjoined to report absconders and illegal returnees to authorities.

“Cabinet resolved that funding for construction of boarder roads, procurement of drones and other related technical equipment, in order to enable enforcement agents to effectively monitor the country’s boarders will be prioritised,” Mutsvangwa added.

Earlier this week, Moyo warned that the country would see an increase of Covid-19 infections due to the unexpected high numbers of returning residents and those deported from neighbouring countries.

Yesterday, he said those who had tested positive for the virus had been separated from the rest of the people currently in quarantine.

“I … want to point out that we are making sure that we continuously test all these returnees who are in the quarantine areas.

“And those who are negative, we allow them to go and finish the balance of their quarantine period at home.

“Those who are positive, we take them to the isolation centres for assessment and further management,” Moyo said.

Meanwhile, Muchinguri-Kashiri appeared to prepare the nation for the bad news earlier in the day when she told Parliament that the government was overwhelmed by the number of returning residents and deportees.

“At first, we were coping because the numbers we received were minimal. However, we have seen a recent influx of returnees from South Africa and Botswana.

“That has put us under tremendous pressure and we have found ourselves incapacitated,” she said.

“Within the next week we are expecting 3 000 more returnees from various countries … We are also falling short in terms of PPEs and testing kits which remain a concern to us because of international competition,” she added.

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