The government of Zimbabwe has said that it is not obliged to repatriate any Zimbabwean who is infected with or dies of coronavirus.
These remarks come when Melissa Jacqueline, 19, a Zimbabwean student at St. Andrews University in the United States succumbed to coronavirus in the United States.
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Zimbabwe also refused to repatriate its citizens in China where the virus emerged last year saying that they were better off in that country than back home.
Speaking to New Zimbabwe on Thursday, Information Ministry Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana said:
In terms of our country’s health laws, the government does not have any obligation to finance repatriation of Zimbabweans who die in foreign countries as this is normally determined by the deceased’s relatives.
Mangwana added that policies governing coronavirus associated deaths further made it impossible for the government to assist bereaved families.
The World Health Organisation has directed that those who would have succumbed to the virus have to be buried within 24 hours.
It is estimated that Zimbabwe has millions of citizens living abroad.
More: New Zimbabwe