Tertiary colleges and polytechnics that were serving as quarantine centres in Bulawayo will be disinfected this week, while returnees will be moved to other centres in preparation for the re-opening of schools next week.
Returnees were accommodated at the Bulawayo Polytechnic and the United Centre for Education (UCE), while Elangeni Training Centre was designated as an isolation centre for patients with confirmed Covid-19 cases.
The disinfection process which includes cleaning and spraying of environmental surfaces will be done in line with Covid-19 regulations since most of the positive cases were attributed to people returning to the country, who were placed in quarantine centres.
In an interview with CITE, Acting Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director, Dr Welcome Mlilo, confirmed the disinfection will start once all returnees were released to other centres identified by the government in the city.
“We are releasing the last of the returnees this week to other centres and the disinfection process of those centres would also be done this week. There are quarantine centres that have been identified such as Khumalo Hotel, Insinga – these are at the top of the mind. Everything will be done this week, in time for the opening of schools,” he said.
The polytechnics, teachers’ colleges and industrial training colleges are to reopen in phases starting next Monday.
Universities re-opened last month and the reopening of colleges is to be followed by schools that are to commence in phases starting July 28.
Bulawayo Provincial Social Welfare Officer, Fanwell Dzoma, confirmed that Khumalo Hotel, Insinga Youth Centre had been identified as the alternative centres.
He also said they were also waiting for confirmation from Standard Hotel.
“Government will still cater for the returnees’ bill (pay for meals and accommodation) and from tomorrow we will be moving them. Female returnees will be accommodated at Khumalo Hotel and males would be placed at Insinga and Standard,” he said.
Reached for comment, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Lovemore Matuke, noted the government will make use of public service training centres as alternative centres as the quarantine process was necessary.
“Alternative centres have been identified in each province and we would make use of public service training centres that we use for retreat or refresher courses. We have quite a number of those and it’s not like there is no more quarantine. But the students must go back to their schools and the disinfection is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” he said.