Hurungwe in quandary over quarantine centre

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THE Hurungwe COVID-19 taskforce is looking for alternative facilities to house returnees after government recently announced that schools will soon open and cease to operate as quarantine facilities.

By Nhau Mangirazi

Returnees from Hurungwe are currently being quarantined at Vuti Secondary School and insiders said the district COVID-19 taskforce would settle for the controversial Karoi Town Council guest house.

But the move was being resisted by residents over health and security concerns.

Last year, NewsDay exposed how the guest house was being used as a brothel. According to insiders, the committee settled for the poorly maintained guesthouse near Chikangwe bus terminus following the government directive to move out of schools by June 9.

A team was dispatched on Thursday last week to assess the facility.

“How can a guest house qualify as a quarantine centre when it is in the middle of a high-density suburb?” queried a councillor who requested anonymity.

“Furthermore, its proximity to the nightclubs and bars is a major concern to us as policymakers. We are against this move.”

Karoi Town Council chairperson Abel Matsika confirmed that the guest house had been proposed as a quarantine centre.

“Karoi is part of the district and as a committee they are still looking for alternatives,” Matsika said.

But Karoi Residents and Ratepayers Association chairperson Frecky Kuchekwa said the move was “not good” for the community.

“Our leadership made this decision without taking into consideration poor communities in Chikangwe as an old high-density suburb.

“Security there is a cause for concern given the high incidence of COVID-19 patients evading security countrywide. Furthermore, these quarantine centres have become incubators of the virus.”

Hurungwe district development co-ordinator Andrew Tizora confirmed that they were in a quandary over a new centre.

“It is true that we are still yet to get any infrastructure to accommodate COVID-19 returnees,” he said. “We are desperate as there are quite a number of issues that need to be attended to at Karoi guest house which needs to be renovated if resources are available.

“We are communicating with our superiors so that it will accommodate only Hurungwe clients during this time.”

He added: “If all fails, people will be transferred to Mupfure or Mashayamombe. Our challenge is that government has said we cannot use private properties that we may have around the district.”

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