Zimbabwe: Govt to Tighten Security and Strengthen Response As COVID-19 Cases Increase

28 May 2020

The government has expressed the need to tighten security and tighten response as the quarantine centres are the high risks areas for COVID-19.

National Covid-19 Coordinator in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Agnes Mahomva stressed the need to secure quarantine facilities and ports of entry since most confirmed cases were imported with quarantine centres and border posts now becoming high risk areas .

"What this means is that we need to further strengthen our response such as screening, testing and follow ups in these areas, which have now become high risk zones to Covid-19. This is what we call science-based interventions, using the data that we have and World Health Organisation guidelines to shape our programming," said Dr Mahomva.

Dr Mahomva added that statistics of returnees absconding from quarantining facilities were crucial in designing the rightful interventions for the country.

"While we acknowledge and never ran away from the fact that we do have challenges and gaps here and there, that data is also essential in our programming. What it tells us is that we need to up our game and focus more on these now high risk areas."

She said many embassies had confirmed that they were handling enquiries from more Zimbabweans that want to return home, raising fears that more cases would be recorded.

Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Gibson Mhlanga said they had put measures to prevent spread of the disease within the quarantine centres by separating those infected from those that are negative.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 positive cases jumped to 132 by yesterday from the 56 that were recorded by Sunday, with all 76 new cases, except one, being recorded from quarantine centres housing returning citizens and residents.

Speaking during a post cabinet press briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said there was only one new case of infection within Zimbabwe. The other 75 were in the centres where people arriving from South Africa and Botswana have to stay until the authorities know they are not infected.

The number of Covid-19 tests conducted so far had increased from 31 589 recorded on May 17 to 38 656.

To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 132 cases, four deaths and 25 recoveries.

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