Fifteen Ethiopian illegal immigrants were nabbed by authorities at a homestead in Gwanda where they were camped.
The immigrants were caught after villagers alerted local authorities following suspicions that the foreigners could have been infected by the deadly coronavirus which has already killed 42,151 people worldwide with the number of deaths rising daily.
According to the state media, the immigrants have been quarantined as a necessary precautionary measure against coronavirus. One of the immigrants who was reported to be in critical condition was detained at Gwanda Provincial Hospital for COVID-19 assessment.
Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Abednico Ncube, members of the ZRP and Ministry of Health and Child Care officials on Tuesday visited the homestead following a report from villagers who feared that the immigrants could be infected with COVID-19.
Matabeleland South provincial medical director, Dr Rudo Chikodzore confirmed the development and said that the group will be tested and quarantined for the next 21 days to ascertain whether they have COVID-19.
‘Among the 15, there was one who was critically ill so our rapid response team attended the scene. They made an assessment and brought the person back to our isolation centre at the Gwanda Provincial Hospital.
The report which I have received shows that he was severely dehydrated and very weak but according to the case definition, he didn’t fit one of a person suspected to have COVID-19 but we continue to take precautionary measures as these are immigrants who were trying to get into South Africa having traveled from Ethiopia. We are not sure which countries they could have passed through,’ she said.
‘We will take a sample for testing and manage him as a suspected case for now while the other members of the group, working with the office of the Provincial Development Coordinator, will be quarantined and monitored for the next 21 days.
So essentially we will take due precautions to ensure if any of them turn out positive we are not found on the wrong side.’
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