Zimbabwe president expresses worry over spike in COVID-19 cases

A man is tested by a healthcare worker during a nationwide lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a mass screening centre, in Harare, Zimbabwe April 30, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo
A man is tested by a healthcare worker during a nationwide lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a mass screening centre, in Harare, Zimbabwe April 30, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday said his government is concerned about the recent spike in local transmissions of COVID-19.

He urged communities to stop harboring returnees who would have escaped from, or not passed through quarantine centers.

Zimbabwe’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 716 on Sunday with about two-thirds being imported.

Speaking after receiving an assortment of goods from various organizations, Mnangagwa said it was imperative that those returning to the country from abroad go through the mandatory 21-day quarantine period.

“We are getting worried because we now see a small trend of internal transmission. We are doing our best to do contact tracing,” he said.

“We would like to appeal to our people, families, communities that if a family member has just arrived from abroad, we must insist to find out if they have a certificate showing they have been quarantined for the required period and have been released. This is for the protection of the family itself and for the protection of the community,” he added.

Mnangagwa said there are still a large number of Zimbabweans outside the country awaiting repatriation.