COVID-19 testing: Govt to prioritise quarantine centres

Testing of returnees housed in quarantine centres is now the country’s major priority, a government official has said.

The country has seen a spike in COVID-19 positive cases with most of the cases being recorded among returnees, a situation worsened by inadequate testing facilities.

This situation has been further compounded by overcrowding in quarantine centres, with returnees complaining that they are forced to live in squalid conditions with some overstaying beyond the mandatory 21 days.

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In an interview with CITE, Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Lovemore Matuke, confirmed that testing of all those returning into the country was now a priority.

“I spoke to the chief director on the challenges that you raised about quarantine centres and said yes there were few challenges. But the main problem was the short supply of test kits by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, which has been directed that the priority is now quarantine centres,” he said.

Matuke said that way, more people coming into the country would be tested as  part of efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19.

“As more people return home, we should have more of them tested,” he noted.

Zimbabwe recorded its highest one-day spike in new COVID-19 cases on May 27, 2020 when positive cases reached 132 from 63 the previous day.

Most of the cases emanated from returnees, which forced health experts to urge the government to re-examine the national lockdown regulations and scale-up screening and testing.

As of June 2, Zimbabwe has 206 positive cases of COVID-19.

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