By Staff Reporter
GWERU Urban legislator, Brian Dube says security lapses within some quarantine centres in the Midlands city could have seen many returnees escape from the facilities, in the process exposing other citizens to Covid-19 infections.
Midlands has received over 100 returnees from Botswana and South Africa according to government.
Dube said while conditions at Gweru Polytechnic and Mkoba Teachers College were near satisfactory for returning locals, of major concern was poor diet and compromised security.
“The infrastructure is decent at Gweru Polytechnic and Mkoba Teachers College,” he said.
“Challenges pertaining to the quarantine facilities are on the quality of food being served and also compromised security.
“The security is compromised and there are fears that some might have already escaped, and this invariably exposes our communities in a very big way.”
Information Ministry Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana has since indicated that facilities at Polytechnic have been overwhelmed.
“Gweru Polytechnic Quarantine Centre is now full to its capacity of 118 following the arrival of 17 returning residents,” Mangwana wrote in twitter.
He added that government has responded to the situation by opening Mkoba Teachers College to house more returnees.
“Midlands taskforce opened Mkoba Teachers College another quarantine centre. It now has 20 returnees from South Africa. Mkoba Teachers College has a capacity to accommodate 500 people,” he said.
Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavhima says the returnees were mostly coming from South Africa and Botswana.
The returnees are ferried by Zupco buses from Beitbridge and Plumtree Border Posts and are now under mandatory quarantine at the two centres in Midlands.
“Those that would have tested positive will be sent to isolation treatment centres while those who would have tested negative would be released.
“We are receiving returnees in the province from South Africa and Botswana.
“The returnees will be quarantined at Gweru Polytechnic for a stipulated period where they will undergo mandatory testing and ensure they are safe and do not spread the virus,” Mavhima said.