Tuesday, 3 March 2020

PRODUCE MEDICAL CERTIFICATES OR BE DEPORTED : GOVT GETS TOUGH


Cabinet yesterday approved stringent measures to ensure there is no outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, which will see visitors from affected countries being asked to produce valid medical certificates showing that they are negative from the contagious virus.

Coronavirus originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan and has spread to various parts of the world, recording a death toll of over 3 000.

The medical clearance certificates should show that the visitors were examined for symptoms and tested for Covid-19 at a Government designated institution in their country. 

Those who fail to produce the certificates will be immediately deported.

So far, over 6 000 people have been screened of the virus at ports of entry mainly the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

 Responding to questions from journalists during a post Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah said Government was taking the tough measures to ensure Zimbabwe was not affected by the virus.

“Those who come without medical certificates showing that they were examined by Government doctors from their countries of origin, we will simply say ‘thank you for the visit but we are sending you back’,” said Dr Moyo. 

“We are doing this to ensure that we don’t have people who bring Coronavirus in our country. We will take all stringent measures to ensure that we don’t have Corona virus in Zimbabwe.”

Earlier, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa had given a detailed brief on Cabinet deliberations on the Covid-19.

Zimbabwe has not yet recorded any case of Covid-19.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the two suspected Covid-19 patients tested negative and were discharged. She said Government would continue to monitor them.

“There was a report that was given by the Minister of Health and Child Care which was an update on the national preparedness and response progress regarding the 2019 Coronavirus/Covid-19,” said Minister Mutsvangwa. 

“Cabinet was informed that as of 01 March a total 6 169 travellers have been screened at our air and ground ports of entry with the majority through the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.”

Cabinet was told that the two suspected cases of coronavirus detected, were of a Zimbabwean and a Chinese national, who have since been discharged after testing negative.

But they will be monitored for 21 days.  All Government emergency agencies, including the Department of Civil Protection, have been directed to be prepared for Covid-19 outbreaks.

Government workers at ports of entry should work in unison to enhance the country’s preparedness.

Minister Mutsvangwa said spot checks on visitors on the 21 self-quarantine should continue to be enhanced. Herald

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