NEARLY 100 returning residents have escaped from various quarantine centres where they were confined as part of mandatory measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
The law prescribes that all returning residents be subjected to screening and testing, including 21-day mandatory quarantine.
Those who have been quarantined are also subject to tests on day eight in quarantine and upon completion of the mandatory three-week isolation. Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said some of the recent escapees were from Plumtree and Masvingo.
“Police and health authorities are looking for those who escaped from quarantine. They committed a crime by violating the lockdown regulations,” he said.
Writing on microblogging site Twitter, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana yesterday confirmed that three returnees from South Africa absconded from Mary Mount Teachers College Quarantine Centre in Mutare.
ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said 99 returnees had escaped from different quarantine centres countrywide.
Zimbabwe has received close to 4 000 returnees, mostly from South Africa and Botswana, over the past few weeks.
“I can confirm that 99 returnees have escaped from various quarantine centres across the country,” he said.
“However, some of them have been arrested. As police, we have stepped up our patrols to ensure that returnees do not escape. We are working with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure compliance. We also urge returnees to comply with the quarantine regulations.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said police were also dealing with reports of rampant theft cases in quarantine centres.
“There are some people who had started stealing . . .” he added.
The country recorded the highest one-day jump in coronavirus cases when five new cases were confirmed on Friday. Overall, the country had registered 56 cases by yesterday, with 18 recoveries.
Four people have succumbed to the disease.