By Anna Chibamu
Zimbabwean schools and colleges will nolonger be used as Covid-19 quarantine facilities as government prepares to reopen learning institutions beginning this June.
This was announced by information minister Monica Mutsvangwa in a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday.
Government took the decision to place returning locals under compulsory quarantine after it emerged cases of the world pandemic were brought into the country by those coming from abroad.
Schools and colleges were designated as quarantine centres to handle thousands of locals who were being accommodated at government’s expense.
Most returnees are coming from the UK, South Africa and Botswana which share the biggest number of Zimbabwean diasporas.
“Currently, most of the institutions are being used as quarantine centres,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“With regards to the Cabinet decision on the imminent opening of schools, universities and colleges which are currently being used as quarantine centres, alternative quarantine centres are being identified and assessed so that they can house returning Zimbabweans.
“Alternative quarantine centres being assessed include churches, Vocational and National Youth Service Training Centres.
“To ensure that our learning institutions are ready to receive students, no new returnees will be admitted at these institutions.”
Mutsvangwa said citizens already accommodated at schools will continue with their stay until the end of the mandatory period with the facilities set to be rehabilitated and disinfected upon being vacated.
“All learning institutions will be disinfected as a condition for them to be re-opened and take in learners,” she said.
The ministers said the country continued to receive returning residents who are still required to go through mandatory screening, testing and quarantining.
She reiterated government’s position the measures were aimed at protecting the returnees’ loved ones in the country.
“We cannot run away from the fact that a greater number of our positive cases are from returnees,” she said.
Mutsvangwa said it was illegal for families to receive and harbour returning relatives who would have dodged proper repatriation procedures and health checks.