Commercial Truck Drivers To Go Through Mandatory Quarantine:
Government is tightening Covid-19 screening protocols for commercial truck drivers and omalayitsha.
It is alleged that some of them have been arriving in the country without the required Covid-19 clearance certificates which are issued when one does a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
At least 40 000 commercial trucks pass through Beitbridge Border Post monthly. According to Beitbridge District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Lenos Samhere some of the drivers were disregarding the set processes, although they would have been allocated funds to test before leaving the exporting countries.
“As per the new order we will quarantine them for at least 10 days before we do rapid antigen test. This is so because our PCR machine can process at least 90 samples at a time. In this case we can’t waste resources (consumables) on fewer numbers, since the arrivals are very minimal. We encourage them to comply with set standards and ensure they have the required certificates to avoid inconveniences,” said the DMO.
Dr Samhere said the PCR certificates for commercial truck drivers are valid for 30 days after which they should do another test.
With respect to omalayitsha, he said they should do retests after every two weeks.
He said the normal returnees arriving in the country were being screened through the rapid antigens method.
“Those that test negative are dispatched to their homes while those who tested positive for the condition are immediately put into isolation.
“You will note that for commercial truck drivers and cross-border transporters, we strictly require PCR obtained results as per the current set guidelines,” said Dr Samhere.
In a report by The Chronicle, those being put in quarantine or isolation, are handled at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) hotel where over 14 000 Zimbabweans have passed through between April last year and January 2021.
Beitbridge also handles returnees in transit to Malawi and Zambia.