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Border officials must strictly enforce thorough screening of travellers for Covid-19

01 Dec 2020 at 06:51hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE has today opened its land borders to private passenger vehicles and pedestrians. The borders were closed in March as part of the lockdown restriction measures meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The country's five major border posts are Beitbridge, Plumtree, Chirundu, Victoria Falls and Forbes. Government said at the weekend that it has put in place measures to ensure the travellers strictly adhere to all health protocols meant to minimise the spread of the pandemic which continues to claim thousands of lives globally.

Officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care have been testing officials at the border posts for Covid-19 to ensure only those workers that are Covid-19 free interact with travellers.

Government has also come up with new standard operating procedures meant to guide workers on the handling of travellers at the border posts.

The country is expecting an influx of travellers from both South Africa and Botswana following the opening of the borders hence the need for strict measures to minimise the nation's exposure to the pandemic.

Zimbabwe is already grappling with a spike in Covid-19 cases at schools and the source of some of the infections are pupils who returned from either SA or Botswana when schools reopened this third term. It is against this background that we implore border officials to strictly enforce the health protocols including thorough screening of travellers for Covid-19.

There are reports of travellers using fake Covid-19 clearance documents after bribing border officials thereby putting the lives of all Zimbabweans at risk.

The people using these fake documents are not just criminals but very cruel individuals that have no regard for other people's lives including those of their own family members. Officials accepting bribes to process these fake documents do not deserve to be within our Government institutions.

Government should ensure a very efficient system has been put in place to protect the people as we receive the expected hundreds of returnees and Zimbabweans working in neighbouring countries visiting families and relatives during this coming festive season.

What is obtaining in schools where a number of pupils and teachers have tested positive to Covid-19 is a confirmation of the consequences likely to befall us if we are lax at our borders.

The world is witnessing a second wave of the pandemic which has forced many European countries to re-introduce lockdown measures to control the spread of the pandemic.

Zimbabwean officials should work closely with their counterparts in SA and Botswana to ensure strict adherence to health protocols to minimise the citizens' exposure to the pandemic.

We don't want our borders to become Covid-19 hotspots as a result of the failure by officials to enforce health safety measures.

We want to once again remind Zimbabweans and the rest of the citizens from the developing world that our salvation is in preventing the spread of the pandemic given our limited resources.

Source - chronicle
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