Zimbabwe’s coronavirus COVID-19 cases doubled Wednesday with almost all the people who tested positive recorded in quarantine facilities.
In a tweet, the country’s Information Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana said, “The total number of confirmed positive Covid19 cases in Zimbabwe now stands at 132. Majority of new cases are returnees currently in quarantine facilities. The 76 new cases have been recorded in Beitbridge, Masvingo and Harare. All new cases except one have been recorded from returnees from South Africa and Botswana. Only one case is a local transmission.”
Reuters reports that more than 4,000 Zimbabweans have returned to the country in the past month, the government has said.
According to Reuters, returnees are being placed under mandatory quarantine for 21 days, but Mangwana was quoted by the Sunday Mail newspaper as saying more than 100 had fled and were being sought by security agents.
Zimbabwe is under a coronavirus lockdown, though businesses have been allowed to extend their opening hours and other restrictions will be reviewed on Saturday.
Zimbabweans fear that a surge in cases could overwhelm a health service that was already struggling with shortages of medicines before the coronavirus outbreak.