Another Vic Falls Lodge Turned Into Covid-19 Centre As Schools Are Cleared Ahead Of Opening

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

ANOTHER private lodge in Victoria Falls has been turned into a quarantine centre for returning residents as authorities try to clear schools that were being used as isolation places.

After turning an upmarket Phezulu Lodge into a quarantine centre in May, the Covid-19 Matabeleland North taskforce has converted Encore Budget Lodge formerly known as Adventure Zone into a quarantine centre.

This is despite the tourism industry slowly reopening in the resort town following the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations by government a fortnight ago to allow the sector to cater for domestic clients.

Phezulu Lodge was opened for returnees who opt to pay for their stay there at US$85 per day and Monday had six people under quarantine.

A total of 19 citizens have passed through the centre since it opened and most of them have been discharged.

Encore Budget Lodge opened Saturday with 46 returnees including a Namibian truck driver who is in transit.

Four of them were discharged on Sunday.

The 46 were transferred from Mosi-oa-Tunya High School which was all along the main reception quarantine centre for returnees coming through Victoria Falls from Kazungula border in Zambia and Pandamatenga border in Botswana.

Mabhikwa High School in Lupane has also been cleared and the returnees moved to Inyathi Training Centre to prepare for reopening of schools on 28 July.

Matabeleland North provincial social welfare officer Macnon Chirinzepi said: “Matabeleland North now has two operational quarantine centres namely Encore Budget Lodge and Inyathi Training Centre.

“Mosi-oa-Tunya High School and Mabhikwa High School have ceased to be quarantine centres as they have been closed in preparation for opening of schools. The remaining returnees have been transferred to Encore Budget Lodge and Inyathi Training Centre,” he said.

The province now has three quarantine centres as it continues to receive returnees especially from Botswana and South Africa through Plumtree and Beitbridge borders.

Meanwhile, authorities are tracing contacts of a 63-year-old Hwange woman who died last week and was confirmed to have succumbed from Covid-19. The province now has 25 confirmed cases and 13 recoveries as of Monday.