The Zimbabwean Government has abandoned plans to quarantine an estimated 3 000 Zimbabweans coming from South Africa at various centres in Beitbridge town.
The returnees will now be screened at Beitbridge Border Post before being transported to quarantine centres across the country.
NSSA Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine and isolation centre for Beitbridge can accommodate only 400 people.
Other centres that have been proposed for use as isolation centres are the two boarding schools, Zezani and Tongwe, which can accommodate 250 and 280, respectively.
The development was confirmed by Beitbridge district medical officer, Dr Lenos Samhere on Thursday. He said:
The returnees coming from South Africa will now be screened and documented in Beitbridge before being escorted to their provinces as they come.
Official communication to this effect will follow.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Pretoria, David Hamadziripi said the embassy has yet to ascertain the exact numbers of those who will be repatriated. Hamadziripi said:
We are yet to get all the figures and exact dates for transportation and you will note that we have just commenced the processes of seeking clearance from the government of South Africa.
Thousands of Zimbabweans resident in South Africa are in dire straits and struggling to make ends after the host government extended the lockdown by another two weeks, with reports indicating that the restrictions will be further extended.
As a result, some of those informally employed have expressed a willingness to return home.