81 leave Beitbridge quarantine centre

Lift lockdown in phases

Eighty one returnees have been discharged from the Beitbridge Quarantine Centre, which expected several busloads of more Zimbabweans repatriated late Friday and on Saturday.

By Rex Mphisa

Director of Social Welfare Totamirepi Tirivavi said those discharged yesterday were expected to finish their 21-day quarantine in their provinces.

Unlike earlier arrangements where repatriates finished the remainder of their quarantine at home, the government had said quarantine period will now be completed in confinement.

“Those discharged were earlier expected to finish their quarantine at home but some have not adhered to that and a decision has been reached that everyone be confined until the finish the 21-day period,” said Tirivavi.

Cabinet last week resolved all people finish the internationally recommended mandatory 21 day period during which the Coronavirus is expected to have manifested itself if any.

Earlier, the government had reduced quarantine period to eight days after anyone testing negative on rapid examination was allowed home for self-quarantine.

Tirivavi said the bulk of the busloads were from Gauteng, where Zimbabweans have expressed the desire to go home in the wake of uncertainties surrounding employment.

SA has said companies that open will be subjected to vigorous scrutiny to ensure its citizens were preferred ahead of foreigners.

Of those discharged yesterday six were children and the rest were juveniles and adults.

Twenty-eight of the 81 are from Masvingo, 32 from Matabeleland South, seven from Manicaland, five from Harare while the Midlands, Mashonaland West, and Mashonaland Central had four, three and one returnees respectively.

Meanwhile, officials at the Beitbridge quarantine centre received about 17 locals from around Beitbridge, who were deported by the South African government after they had sneaked into that country possibly for illegal activities.

The 17 were mostly juveniles from the Mapai and Dumba areas in the outskirts of the border town who eke out a living as porters for smugglers.


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