By Shorai Murwira
The COVID-19 variant which has killed millions of people in India has been detected in Zimbabwe, Health Minister and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said.
VP Chiwenga says this was concluded after a Genomic sequencing test carried out on samples collected from a reported focalised outbreak in Kwekwe which was linked to a traveller from India on the 29th of April 2021.
He also said precautions will be taken from now onwards to monitor all those who are coming into the country.
“People traveling from or transiting from India will now be subject to mandatory quarantine at a designated quarantine centre at their own cost,” he said.
He added that, “These travellers will be subjected to a Covid-19 test on arrival despite the status of their travelling certificate.”
Meanwhile, the ministry of health urged everyone to abide by the COVID-19 regulations.
“The ministry would like to advice that everyone must abide by the regulations of sanitizing hands, wear face masks and avoid un necessary travelling,” says the ministry.
The country has been on lockdown since March 2021 with all schools closed down and restrictions in travelling.
However, restrictions were lifted up after the numbers of positive cases in the country begun to fall down.
As at 16 May, 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 38 560, with 36 329 recoveries and 1 582 deaths. The recovery rate stands at 94.2%, with 95.5% of COVID-19 positive cases being attributable to local transmission. The number of active cases stand at 649.
In order to ensure enforcement of Statutory Instrument No. 108 of 2021 in relation to the country’s ports of entry and exit, Cabinet wishes to advise that citizens returning to Zimbabwe will now be quarantined at their own expense.
Furthermore, those travellers found to be positive for COVID-19 will be isolated at an isolation centre at their own expense.