Rights Doctors Take Govt to Court Over State of Quarantine Centres As COVID-19 Cases Rise

By Robert Tapfumaneyi
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has filed an urgent High Court challenge against deplorable conditions at most Covid-19 quarantine centres for returning residents in the country.

The returnees, according to rights doctors, are forced to share few and dirty ablutions, bathing facilities while some residents have no access to medication.

The Health Ministry is cited as the respondent and the doctors want the government through the same ministry to put in place adequate measures to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 virus in quarantine centres throughout the country.

“The inadequate measures are exposing the returning and other persons detained in these facilities to the risk of contracting the Covid-19 disease, with about 35 out of 96 females who were quarantined at a quarantine facility situated at Girls High School in Harare, having to be transferred to Wilkins Hospital in the evening of the 28th of May 2020 upon allegedly testing positive for Covid-19 following tests conducted on the group on the 24th of May 2020,” reads the court application.

“At most of the centres, social distancing is not being observed, the facilities are not being regularly disinfected and the returning residents and other persons detained in these facilities are not being subjected to regular temperature testing.”

It is also reported that there are some expectant mothers with underlying conditions that need constant monitoring.

At most State-run isolation centres, the residents are said to be using unwashed utensils and are inadequate as there is no running water.

The returning citizens who have tested positive are blaming their living conditions at the quarantine facilities for contracting the disease at the camps.

The country has in the last few days witnessed a rapid increase in positive cases especially in quarantine centres with the country recording 64 cases on 25 of May, 61 of which were recorded in quarantine centres.

Seventeen tested positive on 27 May again at the quarantine centres.

Some 35 cases were recorded at the Harare Girls High School on the outskirts of the central business district.

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