The Minister of Health and Child Care, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has announced that the B.1.617 coronavirus variant, predominantly from India, is now in Zimbabwe.
In a statement on Wednesday, Chiwenga said that a genomic sequencing test was carried out on samples collected from a reported focalized outbreak in Kwekwe which was linked to a traveller from India on the 29th of April 2021.
Chiwenga has therefore directed that with immediate effect, people travelling from or transiting from India will be subject to mandatory quarantine at a designated quarantine centre and at their own cost.
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He added that travellers from India will also be subjected to a COVID-19 test on arrival despite the status of their travelling certificate.
Pindula News is publishing Vice President Chiwenga’s statement in its entirety below:
STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, GEN. (RETD) DR. C. G. D. N. CHIWENGA ‘GCZM’ ON COVID 19 CONTAINMENT IN RESPECT TO THE NEW VARIANT INTRODUCED INTO THE COUNTRY FROM HIGHT RISK AREAS
1. Genomic sequencing test was carried out on samples collected from a reported focalized outbreak in Kwekwe which was linked to a traveller from India on the 29th of April 2021, a high risk Covid 19 transmission area.
1.1. The test conducted revealed that
a. the B.1.617 variants predominantly from the Republic of India was detected at the focalized outbreak in Kwekwe
b. The nation is therefore advised that this variant B.1. 617 is now in Zimbabwe.
2. The following travel advisory is therefore being Issued
a. People travelling from or transiting from India will be subject to mandatory quarantine at a designated quarantine centre and at their own cost.
b. These travellers will be subjected to a Covid 19 test on arrival despite the status of their travelling certificate.
3. Furthermore, the Ministry would like to advise that everyone must abide by the following Covid 19 regulations;
a. Maintain social distancing at all times
b. Continue to use face masks at all times
c. Continue with regular handwashing and use of hand sanitizers
d. Desist from unnecessary travel outside own household
e. Take the Covid 19 vaccine from the nearest health centre in your area which is providing the vaccine
4. Travellers coming into the country from other countries should present with a Covid 19 PCR test done not more thn 48 hours from the time of departure, failure of which this willa be done arrival on one s expense. Travellers will be quarantined for 10days from date of arrival.