By Tafara Chikumira
THE Midlands COVID-19 provincial taskforce has identified new quarantine centres for returnees as an alternative to schools and tertiary institutions.
The new sites are dominated by vocational centres which are now undergoing major refurbishments to meet the minimum requirements in line with World Health Organisation standards.
Midlands provincial Social Welfare officer, Mr George Madzima revealed this at the COVID-19 provincial task force meeting held in Gweru this Sunday.
“We have since identified quite a number of centres where we will be housing these returnees in line with a government directive. I can safely confirm that Senga training centre, Dayadaya as well as Kagwi in Gokwe are ready to accommodate the returnees. We now need to do some refurbishments at Nyamunyoro suburbs and Torwood before we can accommodate returnees on such centres…,” he said.
Midlands Minister of State for provincial affairs, Senator Larry Mavhima urged his team to move with speed in refurbishing the new centres.
“It’s critical that we move with speed in addressing issues at these centres. Let hope the budgets you gave us are enough to make these centres ideal in housing the returnees. We continue to receive more returnees and as such, we need to identify more places to house our people. … We also need to make sure that we get functional ablution facilities at these centres….,” he said.
Minister of State Security, Honourable Owen Ncube says the government has tightened security at quarantine centres after an increase in the number of returnees escaping from such facilities.
“We have romped in the services of other law enforcement agencies at the centres. We are going to be having a 24-hour surveillance at these centres so that we protect the wellbeing of our people….,” he said.
Eighteen people have escaped from the quarantine facility at Mkoba Teacher’s College in Gweru in the previous week, thereby posing a health risk to the community.
COVID-19: New quarantine centres identified in Midlands province
By Tafara Chikumira