Crisis as Zim cuts down returnees Covid19 quarantine period

Staff Writer

ZIMBABWE’s Information Minister Tuesday announced that returnees in quarantine centers will now spend between 10 to 14 days in a development likely to increase the risk of transmissions.

The minister said inmates will now stay in quarantine or isolation centres for 13 days or less, down from the previous 21 days depending on PCR tests results and status of symptoms.

Mutsvangwa said the new guidelines set by WHO will ease the situation in quarantine and isolation centres, see a discharge of people as well as reducing number of retests.

“Those with symptoms will spend a minimum of 13 days in isolation and a minimum of 10 days for asymptomatic patients instead of the 21 days following two consecutive negatives PCR results that are 24 hours apart,” said the minister.

She said patients who continue to test positive for the disease were presently not being discharged.

The new WHO criteria for discharging patients from centres were in two parts.

“For symptomatic patients, they should be discharged after a minimum of 13 days which included a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset (fever and respiratory symptoms) and an additional three days without symptoms.

“For those without symptoms (asymptomatic), they can be discharged 10 days after they would have had a positive test,” said the minister.

The developments come at a time when Zimbabwe has been struggling to feed and provide basic amenities to the returnees at the quarantine centers.

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