BY SILAS NKALA
SEVENTY-ONE people at the Beitbridge isolation centre as of yesterday tested positive to COVID-19 with 59 of them being local cases referred from the district hospital, it has emerged.
This was revealed in the latest International Organisation for Migration (IOM) update released yesterday.
The United Nations agency said on January 1, in collaboration with the Information and Publicity, Health and Child Care ministries, Zimbabwe Republic Police and District Development Council conducted risk communication and community engagement awareness campaigns on COVID-19 in eight areas, bus stations, marketplaces, and shopping areas in Beitbridge urban reaching more than 1 000 individuals.
It revealed that 71 individuals at the Beitbridge isolation centre tested positive to COVID-19.
“As of today (Monday), there are currently 71 (55 males and 16 females) individuals at Beitbridge isolation centre who tested positive for COVID-19, 59 of whom are local cases referred from the district hospital,” the IOM report said.
“On January 10, several self-repatriating migrants (69 male adults, five male minors, 88 female adults and eight female minors) passed through the border post in 14 buses, they all had valid COVID-19-free results and were processed to go home.”
The IOM also stated that from January 9 at 6am to January 10 at 6am, a total of 362 truck drivers (all males) were screened at Port Health with the support of IOM.
“During the same period, a total of 422 (283 males and 139 females) pedestrians were also screened on both entry and exit,” IOM reported.
The developments come at a time the South African authorities have closed the border to foreigners except nationals returning to their country, foreigners returning to their countries, cargo transport and diplomats among others.
Zimbabwe as of Monday, had 22 297 confirmed cases, 13 213 recoveries, 8 556 active cases and 528 deaths. Government last week imposed a hard national lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic.
In an unrelated issue, the IOM also reported that heavy rains on January 7 and a subsequent burst at Gungwa Pumphouse resulted in overspilling of Lake Mutirikwi in Masvingo.
This caused flash floods downstream in Chiredzi ward 16 which resulted in eight family members being marooned.
They were rescued on January 8 and are currently at Calisaunders Hospital in Triangle where they are receiving treatment and counselling.
“Due to the trauma experienced in witnessing other family members, including their mother being swept away, the bereaved family needs psychological support as a fundamental need. Given that the mother was a breadwinner, other notable needs to this family include food and non-food items,” IOM said.
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