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Refugee Arrivals Heighten Covid-19 Fears At Tongogara Camp

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The East African



ZIMBABWE continued to record a steady influx of refugees from across Africa despite the closure of borders for the past one year due to the outbreak of Covid-19, according to new figures from the UN Refugee Agency.

The 236 new arrivals at the Tongogara Refugee Camp recorded from February 2021 to date have left the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) worried about the threat of Covid-19 among asylum seekers in Zimbabwe.

Most of the arrivals were from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at 196, Mali (29), Burundi (seven) and Cote d’Ivoire (two).

Rwanda and Somalia had one new arrival each at the camp that now has a total of 14,967 refugees, mostly from the DRC, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Somalia.

The Tongogara Refugee Camp has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases since the outbreak began last year and nine of the cases were new arrivals.

“The new arrivals coming from across several borders are a potential threat to the refugee population already living in the camp, which is a relatively secluded place,” UNHCR country representative Abdouyale Barry said in a new report.