There is panic in Zimbabwe after coronavirus cases rise to 132 after the Ministry of Health recorded 76 new cases from the quarantine centres.
This was revealed by Secretary Nick Mangwana citing the spike was caused by people quarantined at various centres in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe’s #Covid19 positive cases have now spiked to 132. The 76 new cases have been recorded in the Beitbridge, Masvingo and Harare. All new cases except one have been registered among returnees from mainly SA and Botswana. Only one case is a local transmission.”
The new cases come at a time President Mnangagwa is expected to review lockdown rules.
Mnangagwa has placed Zimbabwe under indefinite lockdown pending review and this could trigger a further tightening of the rules as well quarantine centres where some are reported to have escaped.
Nick Mangwana has made an appeal to those coming in from the diaspora not to abscond admission into quarantine facilities set up around Zimbabwe.
According to the Herald, last week alone 23 people escaped from quarantine centres. There are fears that those who escape or illegally return to Zimbabwe could be the source of unexplained local infections.
“The issue of border jumping has come to our attention and it is the duty of every resident to report such. We urge residents to notify us whenever they receive border-jumping relatives, as anyone who comes into the country must undergo isolation, according to law,” said Bulawayo health services director Dr Edwin Sibanda on Sunday.
“Diaspora Remittances drive aggregate domestic demand. We appreciate what these citizens contribute to our economy. Sadly their presence out there may have exposed some of them to #Covid19Zim. We only ask returnees to work with Authorities to protect the nation. Pliz, don’t abscond”.
Luxurious quarantine centres have been set in Zimbabwean hotels where those who can afford may check-in awaiting results for covid-19 tests.
Announcing the decision on Sunday, health minister Obadiah Moyo said “guests” would be closely monitored and tested every eight days for Covid-19.
The ministry of health and childcare, which liaised with the ministry of tourism, vetted the facilities. The first six that were approved last week include Bronte Hotel, a four-star facility in Harare. In Victoria Falls, the first luxury quarantine centre was the five-star Phezulu Lodge.
Overseas returnees have been at loggerheads with the government for putting them in “inhumane” lockdown centres countrywide.
“We are housed with criminals and basic provisions are lacking. If they have seen it fit for those that can afford an alternative service to look for them, it’s a noble idea,” said a UK returnee.