Zimbabwe: Decommissioning of Quarantine Centres At Schools On Course

The decommissioning of schools and colleges as quarantine centres in preparation for partial re-opening is on course, as all provinces have identified alternative centres.

These centres, mostly vocational training institutions have the capacity to accommodate 2 636 people.

Schools being used as quarantined centres are expected to be vacated by Tuesday next week. Announcing the developments at a press briefing on the outcome of the National Taskforce on Covid-19 meeting on Monday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, said members of the taskforce inspected progress on the setting up of isolation, quarantine and alternative facilities.

Minister Mutsvangwa said feedback indicated that all provinces had identified alternative quarantine centres.

Hostels and student accommodation facilities were being used at several schools and colleges to quarantine returning citizens and residents, but churches, vocational centres and national youth training centres were identified and assessed to take over.

In Matabeleland North, there are 11 quarantine centres, seven of the nine learning institutions used as quarantine facilities had been cleared of returnees.

Minister Mutsvangwa revealed that at the moment, the province has one ready isolation facility with a capacity to house 20 beds, while four others are at various stages of rehabilitation and renovation.

In the case of Mashonaland West, she said: "Efforts are being channelled to ensure that at least one of the 21 isolation centres is ready to receive Covid-19 patients in the shortest time possible. It has been recommended that Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital be this facility as it is now ready to receive mild cases."

There are two learning institutions being used as quarantine centres in the province at the moment, while Mashayamombe Vocational Training Centre, Chinhoyi Evangelical Church and Chinhoyi Showground buildings have been identified as alternative facilities.

Six largely vocational training centres have been identified as substitute facilities to five learning institutions used as quarantine centres in Mashonaland East.

On isolation centres, Minister Mutsvangwa said Marondera Provincial Hospital which has been able to admit one patient is still undergoing refurbishment, while work is being undertaken at the Ranch Clinic in Chikomba District.

In Masvingo, three isolation centres; Chiredzi, Rujeko and Great Zimbabwe University Hospital are ready to receive patients.

Mutare Infectious Hospital in Manicaland Province is near completion, and other medical facilities are at various stages of completion.

Ekusileni Medical Centre and Thorngrove Infectious Hospital are set to receive and treat Covid-19 cases in Bulawayo.

Wilkins Hospital, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare are prepared to admit Covid-19 cases in substitution of learning institutions.

Midlands' Gweru Provincial Hospital is also equipped to admit Covid-19 patients.

For Matabeleland South Province, Minister Mutsvangwa said: "Plumtree and Beitbridge general hospitals are almost ready and are awaiting the installation of medical equipment."

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