Returnee Relives Quarantine Experience

Most returnees from the Diaspora, especially from the United States and United Kingdom were employed in cruise ships business with their employers’ meeting the cost of their upkeep when off cruise.

But with different restrictions in place affecting even cruise ships, there is no work for the majority of them, forcing them to return home.

The returnees include students from different universities who are out of school because of the restrictions, while others have chosen to be close to their families during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sharing his experiences with The Herald over his 14-day stay in quarantine at Zipam, Kudzai Gwanzura who arrived in the country on April 13 said although he was formally employed in the United States, he chose to be close to his family during the global crisis.

“With this pandemic in sight, I weighed my options and decided to be with my family back here. It’s better to be sick, in isolation when you are home than when you are in a foreign country,” he said. While in isolation, Gwanzura commended Government for availing decent services in the form of accommodation and food. He said although he wasn’t expecting to be quarantined on arrival, the services rendered were not disappointing.

“There was no official communication of returnees going into compulsory quarantine upon landing in Zimbabwe, so I personally didn’t expect it.

“Upon arrival, my family was actually waiting to pick me up at the airport, unfortunately we had to be taken straight to Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital for initial Covid 19 tests. From there we were transported to Zipam, where we spent 14 days in quarantine,” said Gwanzura.

He said while at Zipam, they were served three meals a day with snacks in-between. He also said each person was in his or her own room with running water and functional ablution facilities.

“I was personally surprised that this kind of service could be offered in Zimbabwe, let alone at a quarantine facility,” he said.

He, however, urged the Government to inform people in the Diaspora through embassies of compulsory quarantine so that returnees make decisions from an informed position.

Commenting on why many Zimbabweans were returning home during this pandemic crisis, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Secretary Mr Simon Masanga told Zimbabwe Television Network in a recent interview that the reasons where varying.

He said some were students, others were employed by cruise ship companies, and being in lockdown meant there was no work for them.

“It then becomes difficult for someone to continue living in a foreign country when there is no source of income to pay for their own upkeep, food and accommodation included,” said Mr Masanga.

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