Tuesday 21 April 2020


THE number of deportees quarantined at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School in Victoria Falls to curb the spread of Covid-19 had risen to 29 yesterday, up from eight last Friday while two more people were expected last night.

A total of 13 women and 16 men returning from Botswana, Namibia and Zambia have been quarantined while the other two who were already in town pending logistics are Victoria Falls residents who had returned from Cameroon.

The Matabeleland North Provincial Covid-19 Taskforce led by Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo identified the school as a quarantine centre for the province.

Yesterday the Minister and members of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) visited the quarantine centre where deportees are housed in classrooms with the department of Social Welfare taking care of them in partnership with the private sector.
The returnees were screened using the Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) for Covid-19 at the border. Minister Moyo assured them that they would be well taken care of as he explained the purpose of the isolation.

“You are not under arrest and no-one is accusing you of anything. We are trying to minimise the spread of coronavirus and this is only a precautionary measure as you will be housed here for 14 or 21 days depending on what health officials will say before you proceed to your homes after being tested. This means that you will be in Government hands during that period. As you noticed on your way here, borders are closed and only Zimbabweans returning home are allowed in,” said Minister Moyo.

In an interview after the tour of the quarantine centre, Mkhosana Clinic and Zimbabwe Aids Project (ZAP) Clinic which have been turned into isolation centres, Minister Moyo thanked the private sector for assisting to set up the centres. 

He said Victoria Falls was ready in the event of any case that may need clinical isolation.

“Today we as the provincial taskforce were visiting all isolation centres in the province. We divided ourselves into groups. The Minister and Joint Operations Command members came to Hwange where we visited Painted Dog which donated sanitisers and disinfection chemicals in the morning. We went to Five Miles isolation centre in Hwange which we feel still needs support from Government.

“The local taskforce identified the place and they are connecting water and electricity but it still needs beds and other equipment. However, after touring the isolation centres in Victoria Falls, it shows that they are prepared and in case we have a patient with Covid-19 symptoms anytime they can handle it because one of the two facilities is well equipped,” said Minister Moyo.

Minister Moyo said Government had released RTGS$1.7 million to the Victoria Falls taskforce through the local authority to assist at the two isolation centres.

Hwange District Medical Officer (DMO) Fungai Mvura said the ZAP isolation centre is ready to receive patients while Mkhosana Clinic will be ready within two weeks.

Besides beds and other equipment, the centre has been equipped with two portable ventilators procured by the tourism industry. “What is outstanding is medication and personal protective clothing,” said Dr Mvura.

Matabeleland North Provincial Social Welfare officer Mr Macnon Chirinzepi said the deportees are from across Matabeleland North while others are from Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Harare, Kadoma and Rusape.

He said the quarantine centre has capacity for 100 people. Mr Chirinzepi appealed to well-wishers to donate internet services and a television set so that the deportees are kept abreast with what is happening in the country. Chronicle


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