Porous Zim-Moza illegal entry points a threat to spread of Coronavirus

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  • Illegal entry points porous
  • Mnangagwa declares national disaster

MUTARE – The porous and thriving illegal entry points along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border are a major threat to the spreading of the COVID-19 virus, a health official has said.

Zimbabwe and Mozambique has popular illegal entry points that include the Cecil Kopje Nature Reserve, Border Streams and Burma Valley in Mutare.

Other points are Muchena in Penhalonga and Cashel Valley.

In an interview with The Zimbabwe Morning Post on Tuesday, the Acting Manicaland Provincial Medical Director, Dr Munyaradzi Mukuzunga said it was difficult to account for the illegal entries on these points.

“Right now it is difficult and almost impossible to account for these entries. What is now required is to work with other government departments including the security forces,” he said.

“It is going to be difficult to keep track of all these points,” he added.

“The response to COVID- 19 is now a responsibility for all of us.

“The hope is that community awareness will assist travellers to contact the health system once they suspect they are exposed or ill,” said Mukuzunga.

He confirmed that COVID-19 screening is only being conducted at the Forbes Border Post in Mutare and response teams are in the city and all the seven districts of Manicaland.

Government is currently setting up a screening facility at the Espungabera Border Post in Chipinge, which is the second official entry point between the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.

Mukuzunga said the ministry has identified Mutare Infectious Diseases Hospital as an isolation facility for possible Coronavirus cases.

However, he said the isolation facility was not yet ready for patients as it needed rehabilitation.

“The facility needs infrastructure renovations to meet the expected requirements and standards,” said the provincial medical director.

Meanwhile, government has postponed the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and the Independence Day Celebrations until the threat of corona virus recedes,

This was announced by President Mnangagwa on Tuesday during  his State of the Nation Address.

“Government has decided to postpone, curtail or cancel public events, gatherings and activities.

“In that respect, government has postponed the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, all national Independence celebrations previously planned and pending international sporting fixtures until the threat of Coronavirus recedes,” he said.

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