By Clayton Shereni
AT LEAST 76 Zimbabweans, returning to the country from neighbouring South Africa Sunday, reportedly fled from mandatory Covid-19 quarantine in Beitbridge, risking the spread of the novel virus to unsuspecting members of the public.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Tuesday confirmed over 70 inmates had escaped from a Beitbridge quarantine centre in the border town, adding investigations had since been initiated.
“The ZRP is concerned with cases of inmates who are absconding from Covid-19 quarantine centers across the country. From 19 to 21/11/21, a total of 76 comprising of 69 males and seven females absconded from Beitbridge quarantine centre. Investigations are underway,” the police said in their statement.
However, sources in Beitbridge allege the unfriendly living conditions at quarantine centres are the major contributor for inmates to escape from the holding facilities.
The government’s Covid-19 national task-force chief coordinator, Agnes Mahomva recently told the media the state was ready to tackle the fourth wave and all necessary plans were in place.
“For the third wave, we were up to the task and measures were put in place to contain the spread of the disease. We have a strategic plan to deal with the pandemic, whether it is the first, second, third or fourth wave,” Mahomva said.
However, health experts have warned a fourth wave is imminent, and with the Festive Season fast approaching, Zimbabweans returning from the SADC region can fuel the spread of the virus.
They have also advised more citizens have to be vaccinated in order to avoid yet another catastrophe.