Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Two of the 17 people who escaped from isolation at the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) hotel have been located after infecting eight of their relatives with Covid-19 in Madaulo area some 90 km east of Beitbridge town.
All the 17 people took to flight after testing positive for Covid-19. So far authorities have located six of those who escaped from quarantine on Friday last week. These are part of 273 Zimbabweans deported from South Africa recently.
Over 1000 people have been deported for violating immigration laws in the neighbouring country. Health officials and the police are still busy investigating the escapees’ contacts.
District Medical Officer, Dr Lenos Samhere said the eight who are asymptomatic were put on self isolation while further traces are underway.
“We got a tip off of some people who were said to be very ill in that area. We then sent a rapid response team who upon arrival got news about two men who had escaped from the Nssa hotel.
“Tests were then done on 18 family members and seven children below 15 years tested positive for the condition. They are asymptomatic and have been put on self isolation. We will continue to monitor their condition,” he said.
The DMO said further investigations were in progress around the community to minimise new infections. He said they were working with other stakeholders in the covid19 task force to raise awareness on prevention and management of the pandemic , especially around the villagers adjacent the Limpopo River.
So far over 60 people have absconded from the Nssa quarantine since the start of the lockdown on 30 March. The police officer commanding Beitbridge, chief superintendent Tichaona Nyongo told the parliamentary committee on local government recently that there was a need to install a barbed wire at the local quarantine centre to minimize absconding by returnees.
“We have deployed within and outside the quarantine centre but you will note that the place was not built for the current purpose. This then requires an upgrade to make security water tight,” he said.
The top cop said more often they had hit brick walls tracing the escapees ,most of who registered at the quarantine centre on fake names and addresses. The local Covid-19 task force chairperson, Mrs Skhangaziwe Mafu Moyo the place has seen off more than 4000 people returning from South Africa to date.