98 under 21-day Ebola detention in Harare

An Ebola patient

AT least 98 people have been put under Ebola quarantine in Harare after having travelled to Ebola-hit West African countries over the past few weeks.


Of the 98 people, 84 were coming from Nigeria and 46 of these have already been discharged after testing negative following the 21-day surveillance period under which the disease is expected to manifest.

Harare City Council health director Prosper Chonzi told NewsDay yesterday the surveillance and quarantine programmes formed the backbone of the country’s anti-Ebola drive.

The disease, which spreads through contact with infected body fluids, has wreaked havoc in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal and Liberia where it has claimed over 2 600 lives.

“If one is coming from West Africa, they are screened first at the ports of entry and if they do not have any signs and symptoms, we do not put them under quarantine, but we put them under surveillance for 21 days,” Chonzi said.

“Port health officials assess the people and then those who have been to the affected countries fill in forms which are then sent to us, so that we follow them up.

“We check on them every day and tell them to go about their business, but ask them not to move around unnecessarily so that in the event they are affected, it will be easy to trace them.”

Chonzi said after expiry of the 21-day gestation period for the Ebola virus, the monitored patients would be certified as free of the disease.

“For one to be put under quarantine, they would have one or two signs and symptoms associated with Ebola and if their history shows that they have been in contact with an Ebola patient, then we refer them to Wilkins Hospital (an infectitious disease hospital in Harare) where the procedure will go on,” Chonzi said.

“This is when we will take the specimen to South Africa where they will tell us what it is. If it tests positive for Ebola, they will tell us in four hours after receiving the specimen, then we know how to handle the case.”

Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa last week quashed reports of an Ebola outbreak in the capital.


  1. Why not just ban travelers from that region, as it is, we are taking a huge risk and it will only take one fool to spread the diseases. Eishhh ma1

    • true that kitsi.coz say anga ari mubhazi obvious aita contact nevanhu vanga varimo then what.this is really tricky

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  3. i think u used the wrong terminology. “surveillance” is totally different from “quarantine”.under surveillance, clients are just bring tracked and monitored on a daily basis as they go about their daily routines while quarantine is lockdown where clients are not allowed to interact wth other people or the outside world.Quarantine as u used it is meant to stir alarm and over-sensationalise the matter

  4. Saka muno mu Zimbabwe we can’t test that specimen and see what it is? Wakaoma. We keep on praying for Ebola not to infect any person in this country tingapera. This country is heading back to stone age.

  5. yeterday u wer talking about stopping import bez money was going out, Today specimem send to RSA in 4 hrs results back, let apply our logic thinking. Thank u. So far do we have any victim in Zim or its just surveillancing and how much have we lost in term of finance on that, just close borders that all, state of mergency or cafeu 1977

  6. Patakapera neKorera muno did other countries close borders for Zim? Some people are really naive. What about the Ministry of Health officials sent to west africa, will you close the borders for them as well?

  7. so you mean the Government cannot buy test kits for Ebola that you need to send it to SA. Thats really negligence, the first step towards fighting Ebola is to have the detection equipments.

  8. People should not over dramatize the rate at which this disease can spread. Don’t panic. Only 2600 people have died across West Africa in 3 or so months. A lot more have died from other diseases in the same period. The only scary thing about this disease is that it kills in a merciless way, unoora uri mupenyu nenguva isipi. Which is an advantage. Ukanzwa nezve chirwere ichi you will be 100% vigilant. I wish other communicable diseases would kill the same way. People would behave far better in terms of sexual contact and general hygiene.

  9. Zim is not prepared for this. I know one white guy from America, who travelled to S. Leone and Uganda before coming to Zim. This was not detected at airport. The port workers are not that switched on. These politicians just lie to us theat the country is ready.

  10. Zvakangooma soo. To think people are in the States vachiita kunonzi kudya mari, zuro uno vakabva China kwavakanodyda mari…….but nyika haina kana test kit 1 zvayo ye Ebola?????

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  12. Monitoring of persons from Ebola affected countries is a wise decision. This is done by a health official visiting the person at home and asking questions about how that person is feeling, the moment the health official suspects from the answers he gets that the person could be infected he is removed straight away to quarantine. I do not know though, that we have such facilities nowadays in Zimbabwe. But I was once under surveillance some years back when Angola had the Ebola and I was home on leave. People must not panic, judging from this article I think Zim is on the right path, because God help us if Ebola pays us a visit.

  13. Upenyu hwevanhu kana hwevana kana vagari vemuZimbabwe hunokosha asi kuZanu vanototi ngavafe nokuti vakatiramba mazanu makaoma asi mwari achaita kuda kwake nokuti zviitiko zvese zvepasirino zvichapera

  14. dont let those bolaz suspects to visit our social places vanotizadza akomana tikatadza kuEnjoyer mBeers edu.Pliz akomana

  15. This is just shit y do people keep on traveling to nigeria while they knw that there is a problem with this desease……..mxxm!!!!!!!

  16. Ithink we must those ppl who came from another country. We dont hate them but for the sake of our family ,for our sake this IBOLA is too dangerous. But uma kuyintando kNkulunkulu masikwamukeleni iyenzeke intando yakhe.

  17. varikuenda kunyika idzodzo ndobase reproblem why go there in the first place when u know zviriko modzoka mozadza vanhu muno nxaa!!!! such foolish behaviour

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