From George Maponga in Masvingo
Government has expressed concern over prospects of the uncontrolled entry of people into the country through Sango Border Post and adjacent areas along the long and porous border with Mozambique, prompting the opening of a quarantine facility at the port of entry.
Besides, a quarantine facility, the local clinic at the border post is also being upgraded to serve as an isolation facility for Covid-19 suspects.
The isolation facility at Sango will serve as a satellite station for the bigger facility opened at Chikombedzi Mission Hospital with 30 beds.
Sango is the gateway to the Mozambican capital of Maputo and there has been an upsurge of both human and vehicular traffic passing through the border post as trade between Zimbabwe and Mozambique continues to flourish.
Travellers from Mozambique going and coming from South Africa also prefer using Sango, which makes the route shorter.
The Masvingo provincial Covid-19 taskforce led by Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Ezra Chadzamira on Tuesday toured the border post.
Minister Chadzamira said the volume of traffic at Sango Border Post warranted the opening of a Covid-19 isolation facility and quarantine centre.
This was intended to insulate Chiredzi District from the spectre of the deadly virus which can easily sweep through.
“The taskforce noted that Sango Border Post daily accounted for high human and vehicular traffic by virtue of being the shortest route to Maputo in Mozambique from either here in Zimbabwe or South Africa and vice versa.”
“Areas around the border are also vulnerable in terms of spread of Covid-19 because the long border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique is porous, hence the need to make sure that there is a safety net for communities in southern Chiredzi to protect them from the deadly virus.”
The provincial Covid-19 taskforce saw the urgent need to upgrade the adjacent clinic and open a temporary isolation centre.
“We cannot stop our citizens from coming home, but we need a decent place to keep them safe in line with Government policy, hence the building of a quarantine facility.”
Minister Chadzamira said the province had managed to mobilise substantial financial and material resources from donors led by Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe that were being used to upgrade Sango Clinic and building the quarantine facility.