Friday, 12 June 2020

WE HAVE RUN OUT OF QUARANTINE SPACE : MAT SOUTH


THE Matabeleland South provincial taskforce committee on Covid-19 has called for the speedy transfer of returnees to their respective provinces as the province is running out of quarantine space.

Speaking during a meeting on Wednesday, Acting Provincial Development Co-ordinator who is also the chairperson of the taskforce committee, Ms Sithandiwe Ncube, said with the opening of schools imminent the province had lost a number of quarantine facilities and more which had been identified were not ready for use.

The province has over the past month recorded an upsurge in the number of deportees returning home through the Plumtree and Beitbridge border posts. They have been housed at quarantine centres in Beitbridge and Plumtree while awaiting to be transferred to their respective areas.

In Plumtree returnees were being housed at Plumtree High School and Allen Redfern Primary School but with the opening of schools which has been scheduled for end of July, returnees have to be removed from schools that were being used as quarantine facilities to make way for learners. 

“We are running out of quarantine space and if we continue to receive people from either border we will have a challenge. At the moment we are working on relocating those being quarantined in schools to other facilities to make way for opening of schools. With learning institutions now out of the picture we have a challenge.

“Most of the facilities which we have identified as quarantine centres are just halls which need partitioning, ablution facilities and other works which require funds.

“As a result, there is need for returnees which we have in the province or those that we will be receiving to be transferred to their respective areas speedily.

“For those from this province we have referred them to their respective districts to make way for more people that will be coming in. 

“The truth is that as a province we are overwhelmed by returning residents as our structures are not ideal,” she said.

Ms Ncube said they had engaged the national command centre to ensure that people were quickly moved to their respective provinces. She said there were a lot of formalities that needed to be done in moving the returnees.

She said there was also need for continuous disinfection in Plumtree and Beitbridge especially at the border posts and quarantine centres as they were red zones.

Speaking during the same meeting Matabeleland South provincial social welfare officer, Mr Criswell Nyakudya said Beitbridge NSSA Hotel had 96 returnees and 38 of these had tested positive for Covid-19 and had been placed under isolation. He said the facility has the capacity to accommodate 140 people.

He said at Plumtree High School 24 people were been transferred to Esikhoveni Training Centre while 10 were referred to Matobo Research Centre and 11 more people were still at the facility waiting to be transferred to their various districts.

Mr Nyakudya said Allen Redfern had 11 people who were awaiting to be referred to another institution. He said there was concern from some returnees at Nssa Hotel in Beitbridge as they did not want to be housed within the same institution as returnees that had tested positive for Covid-19. — Chronicle

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