LSU closes its quarantine unit, prepares to open for students

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

Lupane State University Centre has closed its quarantine centre and will no longer be taking in returnees, as it prepares to open the institution for students, Matabeleland North Social Welfare Officer Macnon Chirinzepi has announced.

Chirinzepi said the announcement was effected Sunday and preparations were in place to pave way for the university’s opening. 

“The centre since its inception had received 156 returnees – 84 returnees coming from South Africa, 11 from Botswana and 61 having been transferred from Mosi oa Tunya Quarantine Centre. We want to clear the remaining ones to pave way for opening of the institution,” he said in an interview with CITE.

Meanwhile, the social welfare officer said the Mosi Oa Tunya High School in Victoria Falls as of Sunday, had received one more returnee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) bringing the cumulative total of returnees received since the inception of the centre to 397.

Of the 397, 221 are males and 176 are females.

The capacity of the centre is 100, while the current enrolment now stands at 26, of which 19 are males and seven are females.

Another provincial quarantine centre, Mabhikwa High School, has since its inception received 111 returnees –  81 males and 30 females.

Chirinzepi said Mabhikwa High School is currently searching for individuals who escaped from the quarantine centre. 

“The total of number of people who absconded now stands at 14 and police are looking for them. The centre now has a current enrolment of 11 returnees. Six are males and five females. Among these, are two male children,” said the welfare officer.

He added police was handling all the names, identification documents, place of destinations and ages among other necessary investigation information of those who had absconded. 

Chirinzepi said Phezulu Lodge, a quarantine centre where returnees pay for the service, is currently holding three female returnees against a capacity of 43. 

Accommodation per person for a day is US$85.

He also said Bubi, Hwange, Lupane, and Tsholotsho districts had  identified alternative quarantine centres.

“All discharged returnees are given their COVID-19 test certificates to help them reintegrate back into their communities without challenges through the assistance of traditional leadership and other community leadership,”  Chirinzepi said.

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