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Returnees drank sanitisers in quarantine centres

OVER-STAYING in quarantine centres was taking its toll on some returnees, especially youths amid reports that at least four downed hand sanitisers at Bulawayo Polytechnic College last weekend to get high and “kill” the virus.

By Phyllis Mbanje

According to a source, who was also an inmate until yesterday, an ambulance had to be called in to ferry one of the young men to hospital.

The young men claimed that they drank the sanitiser to kill the virus if they were infected, the source claimed.

Bulawayo provincial medical director Welcome Mlilo said he had heard “something of that sort”.


“But I do not think a full report came to my table,” he said, promising to check on the matter.

Two weeks ago, Health minister Obadiah Moyo said they were now focusing on speeding up the testing process to avoid a situation where returnees overstay in quarantine centres.

Returnees have remained the major source of the positive cases which are now over 400 and rising.
Meanwhile, many are questioning if the returnees were infecting each other in quarantine or during the long trips from the border to the centres.

Health acting secretary Gibson Mhlanga said they were researching on the issue.

“We have asked our scientists led by Nicholas Midzi of the National Institute of Health Research to conduct a study to find out where infection is happening,” he said. Concerned relatives of the returnees have taken to various social media platforms questioning the infection rate of the returnees.

“I am so hurt, my mother has been in quarantine for close to two months. At first, she was at Girls High School and now is at Wilkins. She told me she tested positive, but I was staying with her here in South Africa and I was also tested, but I am negative,” wrote one emotional relative.