Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The community in the Dalala area, some 100 km east of Beitbridge East, is in panic mode following the arrival of a 45-year-old man who sneaked back into the country despite having tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa.
The man, who cannot be named for professional reasons, entered the country on Friday through an illegal crossing point along the Limpopo River. The Herald is reliably informed that the man entered the country with the assistance of his wife. Upon arrival, the man was welcomed by a dozen relatives and his five children.
He is also said to have consulted two prophets from the same village before being taken to Malabe Health Post when his condition deteriorated. A source close to the case said on Monday the man tested positive for Covid-19 on June 20 at Dipslot, Johannesburg.
“He was then admitted at Johannesburg Hospital between June 23 and June 29, before being discharged to self-isolate at his house in South Africa,” said the source.
“However, the man who is diabetic called his wife from Zimbabwe to collect him. They then travelled in a Toyota Quantum with many people from Gauteng to Musina and later crossed the country via the Limpopo River.”
The man’s health reportedly deteriorated and was taken to clinic where it was discovered that he was a Covid-19 patient after officials went through his South African medical papers.
He was referred to Tshituripasi Clinic, and was advised to self-isolate. When the news crew arrived in the Tshituripasi area on Monday, there was anxiety among villagers.
“We have to be very cautious considering that we could be having more people who are yet to be detected considering our proximity to the Limpopo River.
“However, as a member of the local disaster rapid response team, I want to urge members of the community to desist from illegal migration or any criminal activities along the border so that we don’t become a Covid-19 epicentre,” said Mr Zondani Dube.
He said people should continue observing set guidelines to minimise new infections. Ward 1 Councillor, Enock Ndou who also covers the Dalala area, said it was critical for Ministry of Health and Child Care officials to trace all the contacts of the man, who are thought to be significant.
He said the area was vulnerable to the pandemic and that there was need for security to be beefed along the border line.
“This is a disturbing development and everyone here is worried and at high risk of contracting Covid-19, especially when we are having many people coming into the country undetected,” said Clr Ndou.
Chairperson of the District Covid-19 Taskforce, Ms Skhangaziwe Mafu Moyo said she was yet to get full information on the case.