Covid-19 scare as borders reopen

22 Nov, 2020 - 00:11 0 Views
Covid-19 scare as borders reopen

The Sunday News

Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter
THE Government has dispatched a team of experts to inspect all borders and ports of entry ahead of the opening of the facilities next week to assess the state of preparedness in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases and mounting deaths.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the team has been moving around all borders assessing the state of preparedness and readiness ahead of the proposed reopening of the borders on 1 December. Minister Kazembe said the team is expected to give a report back to the inter-ministerial taskforce on tomorrow after which the taskforce will also make a follow up by visiting the borders particularly Beitbridge.

“We have set a up a committee of experts and Government officials to move around inspecting borders and assess their state of preparedness and readiness as we prepare for the opening of borders December 1. We are a expecting a lot of traffic mainly at Beitbridge because some people maybe returning home after months under lockdown while some will be crossing the border.

“The team is expected to give a report on their observations on Monday (tomorrow). The inter-ministerial taskforce will also move around all ports of entry and borders posts to also make its own assessment,” he said.

Minister Kazembe said the country will be more vigilant following spiking cases of Covid-19. He said Beitbridge Border Post was the busiest port of entry in the country and Government would make due diligence.

“We do not want to be complacent about the situation we have because numbers are going up. We are going to be vigilant. The main focus is on Beitbridge Border Post,” he said.

The Government recently announced that the country’s land borders will re-open at the beginning of December following months of closure as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

This follows advise from the Department of Immigration to consider phasing the reopening of land borders for passenger traffic, especially at Beitbridge Border Post where 500 000 people crossed in both directions before the start of the lockdown in March alone.

South Africa is one of the most affected countries in the region and the majority of the imported cases came from South Africa.

The pandemic is resurging in the country with the southern part of the country by virtue of its proximity to neighbouring South Africa being greatly affected. The Beitbridge port of entry is a gateway from South Africa to much of Sadc, with many using the border post on their way to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, DRC, Zambia and Tanzania.

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