Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
PEOPLE visiting Zimbabwe from countries affected by coronavirus (Covid-19) without valid medical certificates showing they are negative, will be sent back at the port of entry as the country strengthens its fight against the spread of the virus.
The stringent measures were approved by Cabinet yesterday.
Coronavirus originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan and has spread to various parts of the world, recording a death toll of over 3 000.
The medical clearance certificates should show that the visitors were examined for symptoms and tested for Covid-19 at a Government-designated institution in their home country.
Those who fail to produce the certificates will be immediately deported, Cabinet resolved.
So far, over 6 000 people have been screened of the virus at ports of entry, mainly Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
Responding to questions from journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said the Government was taking the tough measures to ensure Zimbabwe was not affected by the virus.
“Those who come without medical certificates showing that they were examined by Government doctors from their countries of origin, we will simply say ‘thank you for the visit, but we are sending you back,” said Dr Moyo.
“We are doing this to ensure that we don’t have people who bring coronavirus into our country. We will take all stringent measures to ensure that we don’t have coronavirus in Zimbabwe.”
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa gave a detailed brief on Cabinet deliberations on Covid-19.
Zimbabwe has not yet recorded any case of Covid-19. The minister said the two suspected Covid-19 patients isolated so far tested negative and had been discharged, adding that Government would continue to monitor them.
All Government emergency agencies, including the Department of Civil Protection, have been directed to be prepared for Covid-19 outbreaks.
She said spot checks on visitors on the 21 self-quarantine period should continue to be enhanced.
“There was a report that was given by the Minister of Health and Child Care which was an update on the national preparedness and response progress regarding the 2019 Coronavirus/Covid-19 virus,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.