Rumbidzayi Zinyuke

Senior Reporter

All returnees will now be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine at their own expense while those who test positive to Covid-19 will be expected to isolate at a centre of their choice.

Government is also carrying out Genomic sequencing tests to determine if a Kwekwe patient who succumbed to Covid-19 on May 12, could have imported the strain first detected in India.

Addressing a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said the measures would ensure the enforcement of Statutory Instrument 108 of 2021 in relation to the country’s ports of entry and exit.

“In order to ensure enforcement of Statutory Instrument No. 108 of 2021 in relation to the country’s ports of entry and exit, Cabinet wishes to advise that citizens returning to Zimbabwe will now be quarantined at their own expense.

“Furthermore, those travellers found to be positive for Covid-19 will be isolated at an isolation centre at their own expense,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s land borders have remained partially closed after Government extended level four lockdown in January.

Under the country’s lockdown regulations, only commercial cargo, diplomats on Government business, bodies for burial, light commercial trucks (15 tonnes), foreigners legally resident in Zimbabwe, and returning residents are allowed to enter via the land borders.

Residents returning through airports were expected to produce a valid PCR negative Covid-19 certificate to be allowed in.

In relation to the Kwekwe case, Minister Mutsvangwa said 11 Covid-19 cases have so far been linked to the deceased.

“The nation is advised that a Covid-19 patient from Kwekwe died on arrival at Kwekwe General Hospital on May 12, 2021. Contact tracing has detected positive cases in the family of the deceased, further there was a student who had arrived from India on the 29th of April 2021 and the student was PCR negative.

“Another test was conducted on the student after the death of the Covid-19 case and results were negative. To date, eleven Covid-19 cases are linked to the case of the person that died in Kwekwe. The nation is advised that Genomic sequencing tests are being done to determine if there was an import of the Indian strain,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

All Covid-19 positive persons were quarantined at home and are stable and being closely monitored. As of yesterday, Zimbabwe’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 38 595, with 36 371 recoveries and 1 583 deaths.

Minister Mutsvangwa urged Zimbabweans to continue being vaccinated for the country to attain a herd immunity of 10 million and suppress the infection rate.

By yesterday, 600 579  people had received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines while 231 375 had gotten their second dose.

“Members of the public are urged to go to their nearest health facility to receive their Covid-19 vaccine so that the country achieves the required herd immunity to control the spread of the disease,” she said.

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