Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba said that people who run away from quarantine centres should be treated as criminals because they risk the health of other people.
Gwaradzaimba made the comments after three inmates escaped from Marymount Teachers College quarantine centre in Mutare and attempted to illegally enter Mozambique again for shopping.
The three were intercepted by Mozambican authorities and brought back. One of the escapees was arrested while the other two are still at large.
Speaking on the sidelines of a recent COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) donation handover by Econet Wireless Group to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital, Gwaradzimba said:
The danger is if the returnees escape, they are going to join their families and interact with some members of the public and pose danger not just to people of Manicaland and their families but to the whole people of Zimbabwe.
To us, we regard these people as criminal elements who are selfish because they are thinking of making money while disregarding the health and safety of the rest of the population.
For real, the law is not going to be kind with such people who run away from quarantine centres because they are supposed to be tested so that their status is known. If they test positive, they are sent to isolation and treatment centres.
Zimbabwe has recorded 174 coronavirus cases and most of them were returnees mainly from South Africa and Botswana.
However, over one hundred people have escaped from different quarantine centres across the country before they are tested and the majority of the escapees are still at large.