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7 quarantine escapees taken back to centres

by Staff reporter
08 Jun 2020 at 07:11hrs | Views
SEVEN of the 18 returning residents who escaped from Mkoba Teachers' College quarantine centre in Gweru two weeks ago have been taken back to quarantine.

The 18 allegedly escaped from the college where security is said to be lax with only one police officer and college security guards manning the main gate.

The situation has seen returnees escaping from the college by climbing up a tree inside the college and use its branches that extend outside the institution to jump over the wall. It has also been established that some quarantined residents are using the same point to leave the college premises, roaming around the streets of Mkoba putting the lives and safety of residents at risk of contracting Covid 19 before returning in time for roll call.

Addressing a Zanu-PF Midlands province leadership meeting in Mvuma on Saturday, the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima said security at quarantine centres must be improved so that no returning residents escape.

"We have managed to track down seven returning residents who escaped from Mkoba Teacher's College quarantine two weeks ago. We hear that the whereabouts of six other escapees is now known and it's a matter of days before they are taken back to quarantine centres," he said.

"The Covid-19 rapid response team, the police and local leadership from the village in question will go together so that they easily identify these people."

He said some of the returning residents who escaped are said to have given false identities, which is making it difficult for Government officials to trace them and bring them back to quarantine centres for their own safety and that of the community.

"We also learnt that some of the returning residents are crooks who gave officials wrong information and can't be traced. We are now doing proper profiling of every person we receive so that we are able to trace and track them down when they escape from the quarantine centres," he said.

Minister Mavima urged members of the community to report to the police relatives, friends or other people who sneak back without Covid-19 clearance letters.

He said to date Midlands province has received about 630 returnees who have been quarantined in centres which include Gweru Polytechnic, Dadaya training centre in Zvishavane, Kwekwe High School in Kwekwe and Mkoba Teachers' College.

"As of today, over 131 who were quarantined at Gweru Polytechnic College have all been released after they tested negative to Covid-19. Some have been released from other centres to self-quarantine at home since they are said to be stable," he said.

Minister Mavima said of the 18 Covid-19 positive cases recorded by Friday, all but one woman who gave birth at Gweru Provincial Hospital recently were in self-isolation at their respective homes.

"We are happy to note that a Covid 19 positive woman gave birth to a healthy baby and they are both doing well.

She is supposed to be released today or tomorrow," he said. Politburo member Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said it is unfortunate that people were not taking Covid-19 seriously as they seem to be wearing the face masks for the police or soldiers or when getting into supermarkets where they are ordered by security to cover their mouths and noses.

"Our people should take this virus which has killed thousands of people around the world including our own four people seriously. The people seem to wear the face mask for the police. When they pass a roadblock, they remove the mask or they put it on top of their heads or below the chin. They think they are being cool. For effective use, the mask must cover the mouth and nose and people must exercise hygiene all the time," he said.

Mumbengegwi said President Mnangagwa and his Government must be commended for the lockdown which has helped in keeping Covid-19 cases low in the country. "If it wasn't for our beloved returnees, I don't think we were going to have many cases. President Mnangagwa made sure he protected us by swiftly declaring a national disaster and announcing the lockdown," he said.

Zanu-PF Midlands Provincial chairperson Engineer Daniel Mackenzie Ncube called on the provincial party leadership to take the gospel of the fight against the spread of Covid-19 to districts and wards.

"Present is the party leadership from all over the province and you are taking back to the people the message of following the rules and regulations of the lockdown and following strict hygiene. We want to win the war against Covid-19 so that we have a healthy population at the end of the day," he said.

Source - chronicle