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    Friday, 29 May 2020

    Quarantined returnees appeal to WHO

    The Minister of Health and Child Care, Obadiah Moyo


    MASVINGO – Some quarantined Zimbabwean returnees isolated at Rujeko Clinic in Masvingo have appealed to World Health Organisation (WHO) to intervene after they spent 24 hours locked away without food or access to medical staff.
    They were allegedly given one disposable mask each, no soap, no toilet paper nor sanitisers and the place is deserted as all nurses have left.
    Five of these eight returnees tested positive to Covid-19 on Wednesday this week while isolated at Masvingo Teachers` College. They have three children whose results are not yet out, they told The Mirror.
    The returnees who called The Mirror yesterday said that after the positive results, they were hauled out of their rooms at Masvingo Teachers` College by armed soldiers and health officials who told them that they were being taken to their different homes.
    “We were surprised to realise that they were only taking us to Rujeko Clinic Isolation Centre where they left us after locking the gates. The guard who looked after the place then left immediately after our arrival after complaining that they brought him Covid-19 patients.
    He took two hours to open the gates to the centre while we sat outside. “We were given one meal yesterday morning which we received over the fence. We have since got nothing. We are starving, there is no food, there is no medical staff to attend to us since we are now patients and we have called WHO for help. We are being treated like prisoners,” said a patient who called The Mirror.
    Efforts to get a comment from Masvingo Provincial Health Director, Amadeus Shamhu were futile. The Minister of Health and child Care, Obadiah Moyo referred questions to the Ministry spokesperson Donald Mujiri who promised to investigate the matter and revert to The Mirror reporter.
    Efforts to get a comment from WHO were futile but the patient who called The Mirror said that WHO assured them that problem will be attended to after consultation with the Ministry.
    Chaos has enveloped quarantine centers throughout the country as returnees complain against poor and inhuman conditions, hunger and failure to get tested within the prescribed 21 days. Some returnees said that they had spent 23 days in quarantine.
    The returnees also complained that the isolation centres are becoming epicenters of the disease as there is no observation of social distance with three people staying in one room. They all eat in one dining hall.
    There are 532 returnees in the province who are quarantined at Masvingo Teachers` College, Masvingo Poly, Rupangwana, Alford and Bikita Training Centres.

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