Saturday, 18 July 2020


TWO brothers who escaped from isolation at the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) Hotel after testing positive for Covid-19 have infected eight relatives in Madaulo, some 90km east of Beitbridge town.

The two were among 17 people who escaped from quarantine on Friday last week after returning from South Africa.

So far authorities have located six of the escapees who were quarantined with more than 250 others after they were all deported from South Africa recently.

Over 1 000 people have been deported for violating immigration laws in the neighbouring country. 

Beitbridge District Medical Officer, Dr Lenos Samhere said the eight people, all children who were infected by the deportees, are asymptomatic and on self-isolation.

“We got a tip-off of some people who were said to be very ill in that area. We then sent a rapid response team who upon arrival got news about two men who had escaped from the Nssa hotel.

“Tests were then done on 18 family members and seven children below 15 years tested positive for the condition. They are asymptomatic and have been put on self-isolation. We will continue to monitor their condition,” he said.

Dr Samhere said investigations were in progress around the community to minimise new infections. 

He said they were working with other stakeholders in the Covid-19 taskforce to raise awareness on prevention and management of the pandemic, especially in villages adjacent the Limpopo River.

So far over 60 people have absconded from the Nssa quarantine since the start of the lockdown on March 30.

Police Officer Commanding Beitbridge, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo told the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government recently that there was a need to fence the local quarantine centre to minimise cases of absconding by returnees.

“We have deployed within and outside the quarantine centre but you will note that the place was not built for the current purpose. This then requires an upgrading to make security water-tight,” he said.

Chief Supt Nyongo said they have often hit a brick wall when tracing escapes as most registered under fake names and addresses.

Beitbridge Covid-19 taskforce chairperson, Mrs Sikhangeziwe Mafu-Moyo said the hotel has seen off more than 4 000 people returning from South Africa to date. Chronicle


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