BY Brenna Matendere
SEVEN members from a single family in Beitbridge yesterday tested positive for COVID-19 after one of their relatives, who had travelled to South Africa, escaped from a quarantine centre in the border town and fled home.
Beitbridge East legislator Albert Nguluvhe (Zanu PF) yesterday said the family stays in his constituency.
“I received the report this morning (yesterday) that seven members from the same family have tested positive,” Nguluvhe said.
“The family has 14 members. I have been informed that the development came after one of their relatives, who was in quarantine after coming from South Africa, escaped and went home.
“Investigations were later made and he was located, resulting in the testing of all the family members.”
Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said all the seven who tested positive were minors, with the oldest aged 15.
Nguluvhe said he would soon engage traditional leaders to help in managing future incidences.
“My position is to encourage traditional leaders to take COVID-19 issues seriously,” he said.
“As for government, it should continue to educate our people about dangers of this pandemic. Relatives must not hide their kith and kin at their homes if they run away from quarantine or have crossed the border illegally.”
Nguluvhe also revealed that Health ministry officials were working on isolating the affected family members to reduce the spread of the virulent disease.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said massive rural awareness campaigns would help reduce such incidents.
“The issue of returnees escaping from quarantine centres is a worrying concern. This calls for informed community participation in the COVID-19 response,” he said.
“Communities in hotspot districts such as Beitbridge need sustained COVID-19 health literacy education awareness campaigns if we are to reduce the risk of infection from their relatives that are returning home and escaping from quarantine centres before completing due processes,” he said.