Undocumented Zimbabweans dying in South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic period can be buried home after Cabinet resolved to grant the Zimbabwe Mission in that country a special waiver to repatriate the bodies.
However, the process can only take place on the basis of submitted affidavits from the chief/village head and relatives in the country.
There are thousands of undocumented Zimbabweans living and working across the Limpopo River.
Families were finding it difficult to repatriate the bodies of their loved ones for burial back home resulting in the smuggling of bodies for secret burials.
In a post- Cabinet Press Briefing on Tuesday, Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said time storage of bodies in South Africa has been reduced because of Covid-19.
“Following recent developments in South Africa, where the time of storage of bodies has been reduced, Cabinet resolved to grant the Zimbabwe Mission in South Africa a special waiver during the Covid-19 pandemic period to clear the repatriation of undocumented Zimbabwean bodies for burial back home on the basis of submitted affidavits from the chief/village head and relatives in Zimbabwe,” she said.
The Minister said social media abusers must desist from posting or peddling falsehoods on Covid-19 that may cause despondency and alarm in the nation.
She said peddling of falsehoods is a punishable offence in terms of Covid-19 regulations.
Minister Nyoni said Cabinet has directed that all hospitals should admit patients without demanding a prior Covid-19 test result and proceed to do a PCR test on admission.
“To that end, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has already directed all public and private health institutions to establish Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) zones to ensure that no patients are turned away,” she said.
In terms of preparedness, she said Wilkins and United Bulawayo Hospitals are now admitting mild to moderate Covid-19 cases.
Minister Nyoni said the recruitment of nursing staff is already underway.
“In the same vein, His Excellency the President has appealed to the striking nursing personnel to return to work such that the loss of lives can be minimised,” said Minister Nyoni.