Wednesday, 27 May 2020

HARBOURING RETURNEES NOW ILLEGAL : GOVT


It is illegal for anyone to harbour returnees who have not gone through the proper repatriation procedures and screening for Covid-19, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists at State House in Harare after the ad hoc Inter-ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 meeting on Tuesday that Government would continue receiving returning residents and legal residents coming home.

“We continue to receive returning and legal residents who had been domiciled outside Zimbabwe.

“As our citizens come home, they are required to adhere to the laid down regulations that includes screening, testing and quarantining. These measures are there to protect their loved ones here at home. We cannot run away from the fact that a greater number of our positive cases are from returnees. 

“It is illegal for anyone to harbour any returnees who have not gone through the proper repatriation procedures and health screening. Let me take this opportunity to urge each and every one of us to do the right thing where preventative and protective measures are concerned,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She reaffirmed that traditional leaders play a critical role in the dissemination of information in rural communities.

“This information dissemination role has been key in raising awareness on Covid-19 and ensuring adherence to the protective and preventative measures in these communities,” she said.

Traditional leaders, she said, would be mobilising their communities in the apprehension of those returnees who abscond from quarantine centres and those who returned home through illegal crossing points. 

She called for collective responsibility as a nation to practise good hygiene, and wear masks properly in public spaces.

Government is monitoring illegal returnees coming from South Africa using undesignated entries to evade being quarantined for the pandemic and those who are escaping from quarantine centres.

Recently, many returnees have escaped from various quarantine centres where they were confined as part of mandatory measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

The law prescribes that all returning residents be subjected to screening and testing, including a 21-day mandatory quarantine, although after eight days and the second negative test they can be quarantined at home. Herald

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