Universities offer quarantine sanctuary

Source: Universities offer quarantine sanctuary | The Herald

Universities offer quarantine sanctuary
Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke

George Maponga Masvingo Bureau

Government has designated local universities and other institutions of higher learning to provide temporary quarantine purposes for all returning residents, as part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, as Zimbabwe intensifies measures to ensure the 21-day lockdown is a success.

All returning residents into the country using both legal and illegal channels have to go into self-quarantine for 21 days as part of ongoing efforts by Government to stem the spread of the corona virus.

The country is currently under lockdown after President Mnangagwa ordered a three-week shutdown that has now passed the half way stage, with citizens earning plaudits for positively responding to the call to stay home.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Public Works and Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke said all returning residents into the country should go through temporary quarantine to make sure the ghost of Covid-19 is tamed.

Speaking during a meeting between members of the Covid-19 national task force and the provincial team here on Saturday at the Great Zimbabwe University’s Robert Mugabe School of Education, Deputy Minister Matuke said all returning nationals had to be vetted before they were released to their homes.

“We have engaged our local universities and colleges to provide accommodation for all our returning residents so that they are temporarily quarantine for 21 days before they go to their homes as part of efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19,’’ he said.

“The quarantine is temporary and enables us (Government) to vet all those coming into the country. The whole idea is to make sure that we stop the spread of Covid-19.’’

Most countries in the southern Africa sub-region and around the world have introduced lockdowns and other stringent measures, including shutting their borders in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government has also been facilitating the return of its nationals from other countries, especially those under total shutdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government has also taken orphans and street kids to Vocational Training Centres and other institutions to make sure they are safe under the current lockdown.

“We have street children and other vulnerable people within our cities that were affected by the lock down and as Government we created space for them to stay and getting food during this period,’’ said Deputy Minister Matuke

The Department of Social Welfare was going to receive additional funding from Treasury to expand its capacity to feed more vulnerable people in the wake of the current lock down.

Government is currently registering vulnerable people in urban areas to assist them with food under an expanded social protection net programme to make sure citizens were cushioned from the prevailing economic hardships.

In Masvingo City and surrounding urban settlements street children and other vulnerable people are being kept at Mushagashe Vocational Training Centre to make sure they stay indoors in line with the lockdown policy .