By Lynette Manzini
Two of the recent returnees situated at the Belvedere Teachers College tested positive Tuesday adding the new COVID-19 cases around the country to twenty eight, it has emerged.
Around 65 Zimbabweans returned back into the country from the United Kingdom on 20 April 2020 and are currently quarantined at the Belvedere Teachers College student’s hostel. Initially the returnees had refused to stay at the college sighting lack of water and in adequate facilities.
The return of the nationals into the country attracted mixed feelings with some bemoaning their return accusing them of likely importing the disease into a country with a poor health care system, while others supported them insisting it was within their constitutional rights.
Giving a televised 40th independence speech president Emmerson Mnangagwa said government has taken a deliberate position to welcome all Zimbabweans from the Diaspora on condition that they go under 21 day mandatory quarantine.
During a Media Webinar on National Response to COVID-19 in Zimbabwe-the deputy director for Epidemiology and Disease Control in the ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Phiri who is currently leading the surveillance pillar in the COVID19 response revealed the information, further emphasizing the importance of the mandatory quarantine.
“Three more cases were recorded yesterday bringing the total cases to 28.Two were from those in quarantine.”
“If these cases had not been put in quarantine they would have exposed the virus to their relatives and friends,” he said.
Dr Phiri indicated that upon arrival each traveler will get tested, the test is repeated on day five, seven and another before discharge.
Although Dr Phiri acknowledged a recent COVID19 associated death at the Westend Clinic Hospital in early Wednesday morning, he was not in a position to give full details as but informed the media the details would be releases later on in the day.
This brings the COVID19 related deaths to four countrywide.
Speaking on the same panel ministry of information and publicity permanent secretary Ndavaningi Nick Mangwana acknowledged the important role played by the media and regrets initially omitting the media as an essential service
“The fact that the media was missed in the first instrument is not indicative that journalism is not an essential service.”
Members of the media were attacked and arrested by police as they carried out their duty of news gathering around the country. The police did not regard journalists from the private media an essential service. However, the court brought relief in to journalists in a case filed by the Media Institute of Southern Africa.