Many lodges in Manicaland Province have reportedly turned their premises into isolation centres, albeit unknowingly, as they are booking in COVID-19 positive guests for periods ranging between two and three weeks without asking for any test results.
Clients who stay for more than two days at a hotel or lodge are required to produce periodic test results as a precautionary measure against the pandemic but according to investigations by The Manica Post, this is not happening.
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The publication established that a new breed of COVID-19 super spreaders was booking into lodges for isolation without divulging its status, thus exposing other guests at the same facilities to the coronavirus.
A gardener at a lodge in one of the medium-density suburbs of Mutare told a Manica Post reporter that a client was whisked to hospital after his condition deteriorated midway through his fortnight stay at the facility. He said:
We figured that his wife was aware of her husband’s COVID-19 status because she would always bring him food, but they always observed physical distancing.
It only became clear to us after he was forced to call for help as his condition deteriorated. That is when his wife came in an ambulance to rush him to the hospital.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) national president, Charlton Chimbira said this trend could be rampant at unregistered lodges that only value the money they get from clients.
He said HAZ members have been on high alert during this COVID-19 period, ensuring that clients who stayed for more than two days produced periodic test results.
Acting Mutare director for health services, Dr Kudzai Murembwe said this could be a new development that is yet to be brought to their attention.
He urged players in the hospitality industry to be extra vigilant.