Govt Sticks To Guns, Insists Belvedere Suitable Quarantine Facility For Zim Returnees

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By Costa Nkomo

GOVERNMENT will not be forced to find alternative accommodation for 65 Zimbabweans who returned from the UK Monday with Minister Paul Mavima insisting Belvedere Teachers College was a decent place for quarantine.

The group placed under quarantine for possible COVID-19 infection has complained the Harare training institution does not have running water and has poor bedding, making it inhabitable.

Mavima, who is Social Welfare minister, visited the college Wednesday to investigate the complaints.

In an interview with after the tour, the minister confirmed there was limited water supplies at the college and bedding was poor, which needed to be attended to urgently.

“It is a habitable place. Only that there is need to improve on bedding and water. We will increase the number of blankets and some mattresses immediately so that it becomes more comfortable,” said Mavima.

“We have also instructed that a borehole be reconnected with a booster pump which we hope by end of the week would have been sorted.”

He said a total of 950 citizens had returned home and had been placed in mandatory quarantine centres across the country with the government footing the bill for food and other basic needs.

“The ministry has so far spent in excess of $5 million for their food and other basic needs. The cost of accommodation is not included as the ministry is billed separately for accommodation services.

“The ministry has a team of dedicated professional social workers and support staff who provide professional services to our returning residents at quarantine centres,” he added.

Zimbabwe has to date confirmed 29 cases of COVID-19 including four deaths.