As part of moves to stem the recent sharp rise in coronavirus cases, Zimbabwe has announced that cross-border truck drivers coming home after their shifts will have to undergo mandatory quarantine, state newspaper Herald has reported.
The Zim gvt also resolved that cross-border truck drivers will now only be allowed to stop at the already-designated stopping points for refreshment and rest, with police intensifying enforcement efforts.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the new measures at the National Taskforce on Covid-19 press briefing in Harare yesterday.
“In view of the risk of transmission posed by truckers and returnees, the following measures have been put in place to reduce the said risk: The increased enforcement through joint roadblocks in order to flush out rogue truck drivers so that they are penalised if they are contravening lockdown regulations and simplified educational materials are to be distributed to truckers so that they familiarise themselves with regulations guiding their stay in the country,” said Mutsvangwa.
Some of the regulations in line with SI 93 of 2020 include truckers stopping at designated stops, subjecting themselves and their goods to disinfection should they offload here in Zimbabwe.
Every driver, being a citizen of Zimbabwe, shall also be treated as a returning resident and will be required to go into either mandatory quarantine or isolation.
All returning citizens and residents will now be given the diagnostic PCR test for Covid-19 on their first day back in Zimbabwe before being quarantined, if the test is negative, or isolated, if they are ill, to minimise the risk of infection within quarantine centres.
Follow-up tests will be conducted during the 21-day mandatory quarantine period.
The switch from screening tests to diagnostic tests comes in the wake of the continued rise in infections among returnees, raising concern that people might be infecting each other in the quarantine facilities.