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Over 41 000 returnees pass through Beitbridge

by Staff reporter
10 Jan 2021 at 08:03hrs | Views
OVER 41 800 people and 7 012 commercial trucks passed through Beitbridge border post during the festive season amid fears that the influx of travellers contributed to the current spike in coronavirus cases in the country as some of them produced fake Covid-19 certificates.

According to the latest International Organisation for Migration (IOM) report, between December 16 and 29, 2020, 43 946 entries were received through the key point of entry into the country, bringing the total number of entries since March 2020 to 103 097.

IOM stated that Beitbridge received 41 812 returnees who comprised 24 169 males, 17 643 females as well as 7 012 commercial truck drivers.

"At Beitbridge, IOM issued hand washing facilities used by over 3 000 migrants, frontline staff and commercial truck drivers daily. 10 000 face masks and 100 (500ml) hand sanitisers were distributed to front line officials, including immigration, port health, Department of Social Welfare, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority," said the United Nations agency.

The report stated that 14 returnees were placed in the Beitbridge Covid-19 isolation wing, while 21 were quarantined.

IOM said at Chirundu 474 returnees comprising 210 males, 254 females, 6 male minors and 4 female minors were received, while Forbes border post received 169 returnees comprising 89 males, 66 females, 14 minors and 2 417 commercial truck drivers.

"Kariba received 14 returnees comprising eight males, six females and 377 commercial truck drivers," reads the report.

"Kazungula received 752 returnees comprising 566 males, 172 females, 11 male minors, 3 female minors and 234 commercial truck drivers. Plumtree had 372 with 203 males, 146 females, 12 male minors, 11 fe male minors returnees, and 199 deportees made up of 136 males, 59 females, and four male minors were received. Sango had a total of 127 with 74 males, and 53 females entries recorded. Of these, 28 were crossborder traders and 1 male deportee. Victoria Falls had a total of 226 arrivals in both commercial and private charter airlines."

Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare received 3 394 males, 2 506 females and 60 minors.

"Chirundu, three female irregular migrants did not have Covid-19 test certificates and were referred to self-quarantine. Another seven irregular migrants without Covid-19 test certificates were referred to Chinhoyi quarantine centre," said IOM.

"At Forbes border, eight returnees with invalid Covid-19 test certificates were sent to Toronto quarantine centre. Two commercial truck drivers who tested positive for Covid-19 were instructed to return to their country of origin for isolation and further management.

"At Kazungula, two commercial truck drivers tested positive for Covid-19 and were escorted by Victoria Falls Hospital Ambulance to a quarantine centre.

"Five out of the 348 returnees displaying symptoms were taken to the quarantine centre.

"In Plumtree, 13 returning migrants with invalid Covid-19 certificates were tested and referred to quarantine centres in Bulawayo and Esikoveni awaiting their results. 184 out of 199 deportees did not have Covid-19 test certificates and were sent to various provincial quarantine centres."

IOM reported that at Sango, one deportee was sent for home quarantine.

At Chirundu, the UN agency provided over 2 600 commercial truck drivers with Covid-19 infection prevention and control awareness training, while at Forbes border 13 heads of departments benefited from the same programme.

Source - the standard