Government has quarantined 287 people including 15 foreign nationals at various places across the country as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Covid-19 diseases.
The 287 include seven locals who returned from the US, 265 who were in Botswana and 15 suspected Ethiopian nationals.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana confirmed the development on his twitter handle.
“Government takes the risk of potential imported transmission seriously. We have 7 returnees who arrived from the US including 6 cruise ship workers who are in compulsory quarantine at a lodge in Harare. Those from Botswana are at Plumtree High and ZIPAM will be used for new arrivals,” Mr Mangwana said.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Mangwana said the people would be tested for the diseases and quarantined for 21 days.
“The 265 people that returned from Botswana are quarantined at Plumtree High School and St Christopher Primary School, the 15 suspected Ethiopian nationals that were intercepted in Gwanda are at Guyu Training Centre awaiting verification from the Ethiopian Embassy on their citizenship status. There is a possibility that some of them could be from Eritrea or Somalia,” he said.
Mr Mangwana added that the people were being looked after by the Department of Social Welfare and thanked the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Silo Foods Industries for providing blankets and food for the quarantined people.
He said a number of centres, including facilities at the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management in Darwendale would be opened to cater for returning residents while they are in quarantine.
“We can’t stop Zimbabweans from coming home. Our constitution does not permit. But we can protect others by compulsorily quarantining them for 21 days before allowing them to mingle,” he said.
Apart from quarantining those coming from abroad, Government has also moved hundreds of homeless people in Harare to various centres on the outskirts of the city as part of measures to contain the spread of the Covid 19 disease.
The people are being accommodated in Mt Hampden, Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre and Jamaica Inn while plans are afoot to open more such centres across the country to to cater for homeless people.