#JUSTIN: Gvt Names and Shames Quarantine Escapees

INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary, Mr Nick Mangwana has publicised names of four ladies from Kadoma who escaped from Vuti quarantine facility.

By Michael Gwarisa

Zimbabwe currently has 149 confirmed cases of COVID-19 amidist indications that majority of cases are coming from quarantine centers.

Through his mircro-blogging account, Mr Mangwana said publishing names of escapees would be the norm going forward as a means of bringing absconders to book and ensuring community infections of COVID-19 are contained.

Four ladies who live in Kadoma but were coming from Zambia adbsconded from Vuti Quarantine Centre last night. They are Caroline Chirozvi, of Ingezi, Loveness Kamwendo of Village 3 Lonecorp, Molline Chimucheka of Ingezi and Judith Masuku of Effel Flats. Absconders will be published,” said Mr Mangwana.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a spike in the number of individuals absconding from quarantine centres amidst indications that numbers could be hovering above 150 while some unconfirmed individuals are reportedly entering the through illegal entry points or being smuggled by truck drivers.

Meanwhile,  police spokesman Paul Nyathi said officers were “hunting down” more than 100 people who escaped from centers where a 21-day quarantine is mandatory for those returning from abroad.

“They escape and sneak into the villages … We are warning people to stop sheltering them. These escapees are becoming a serious danger to communities,” Nyathi said.

Nearly all of Zimbabwe’s 75 new cases this week came from the centers that hold hundreds of people who have returned, sometimes involuntarily, from neighboring South Africa and Botswana.

The quarantine centers have become “our source of danger,” Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told a special parliamentary committee this week.

Both Zimbabwe and Malawi have fewer than 200 confirmed cases but regional power South Africa, where many in both countries go to seek work, has more than 25,000. South Africa has the most cases in Africa, where the continent-wide total is nearly 125,000.

Zimbabwe’s information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, on Wednesday told reporters that the government is increasing security at the schools, colleges and hotels used as quarantine centers. Government spokesman Nick Mangwana suggested that security officers guarding centers with high walls and razor wire might be receiving bribes to allow people to leave early.

Zimbabwe’s government is also worried about people crossing porous borders and failing to report at quarantine centers. The information ministry has begun sharing a hotline number and asking people to stop harboring “border jumpers” and those who “abscond” from quarantine.

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