Byo receives fresh batch of deportees

Bulawayo has received 230 more nationals who were deported from Botswana and will be put on mandatory quarantine before being released to their families.

A further 200 are still in Plumtree and instead of coming to Bulawayo, they will go straight to their respective provinces.

In Beitbridge, 250 returnees from South Africa are waiting to be taken to their home provinces where they will be quarantined.

In an interview with CITE, Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Lovemore Matuke, confirmed the developments and said his ministry would take care of the food and accommodation at the identified facilities.

“230 came Thursday from Botswana and these will stay in Bulawayo for the whole mandatory quarantine period. The United College for Education (UCE) and Bulawayo Polytechnic are still the designated institutions for the quarantine.

“The other 200 who are in Plumtree will be deployed to their respective provinces. We have started profiling them to deploy them and the provinces are ready to receive them,” he said.

Matuke said the numbers from Botswana included those “who were rounded up for loitering, some were caught off guard by the lockdown while others had been released from prison.”

The deputy minister added that the Zimbabweans who arrived from South Africa would be deployed to their respective provinces for the quarantine exercise.

“This is what we are doing now, deploying people to their respective provinces. At the border, the returnees will tell officials where they come from and would be quarantined there at their respective provinces by the provincial taskforce on COVID-19. We are carrying out a profiling exercise on the returnees that will take about a day or two,” said the deputy minister.
Matuke said they expect more people from South Africa this week.

“Masvingo Technical College and Masvingo Teachers college will house some of the returnees for the mandatory quarantine. More people are still coming back from South Africa and we expect more buses by end of this week,” he said.

Meanwhile, 163 people left UCE and Bulawayo on Wednesday after they were cleared by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Bulawayo Provincial Information Officer who is also the Chairperson of Information and Publicity sub- committee of the Provincial Taskforce on COVID-19 outbreak, Miriam Chigonde, confirmed their release.

“I can confirm 70 women and 93 men were yesterday May 6, 2020 released from UCE and Bulawayo Polytechnic respectively following clearance by the Ministry of Health and Child Care that they were COVID-19 free.

“So we can safely say there are currently 156 women and 116 men still under 21-day mandatory quarantine in the respective centres. Yes UCE and Byo Poly remain the two quarantine centres for all deportees. The province has not received any more deportees as we speak,” she said.

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