By Matabeleland North Correspondent
VICTORIA FALLS: Matabeleland North has recorded a significant decrease in the number of citizens being quarantined at various centres on return into the country, with only 37 currently under quarantine.
At some stage, the province had close to 300 returnees on a single day at its six quarantine centres.
From centres, the province now only has Encore Budget Lodge in Victoria Falls and Inyathi Training Centre in Bubi as remaining functional centres after closing four others to prepare for schools opening and the reduction in the number of returnees.
The biggest centre was Mosi-oa-Tunya High School in Victoria Falls which closed in June in preparation for schools opening after receiving a total of 480 returnees, being 264 males and 216 females.
Lupane State University closed after receiving 156 returnees and Mabhikwa High School also in Lupane which closed for schools opening after receiving 156 returnees, being 99 males and 57 females.
At least 29 people quarantined at Mabhikwa High were villagers who came into contact with Covid-19 positive border jumpers and 15 escaped from the centre and were not accounted for.
Inyathi Training Centre currently has only two people, with a cumulative 102 having passed through the centre.
The 43-bed Phezulu Lodge was opened for returnees that opted to pay US$85 per room each night for their quarantine. It has been without new bookings for the past week.
Encore Budget is the only centre receiving returnees with eight making bookings Saturday from Namibia and Zambia, bringing the number of booked returnees to 35.
Encore Budget has received a cumulative total of 195 returnees being 115 males and 80 females with seven being foreigners in transit to Namibia, Uganda, Somalia and the DRC.
Provincial social welfare officer Macnon Chirinzepi said: “The current enrolment at Phezulu Lodge centre is zero. The cumulative total number of returnees received at the centre since inception is 28. Encore Budget Lodge is still receiving returnees with eight received on Saturday. The province currently has a total of 37 being 26 males and 11 females,” he said.
Returnees in Matabeleland North came from Australia, Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
Chirinzepi said all quarantined citizens were discharged and provided with Covid-19 test certificates to help them reintegrate with communities.
The province had by Saturday recorded 112 cases, 89 recoveries as well as three deaths.