By Nokuthaba Dlamini
The government has been forced to move returnees in Victoria Falls to a private hotel as the alternative quarantine centres are yet to be renovated.
The new centres, Ntengwe Drop-in Centre in Binga, ORAP Centre in Bubi, UNWTO Camp Hwange, Elitsheni Government Complex in Lupane, Jotsholo Hall/Hlanganani Cooperative, and Tsholotsho DDF Training Centre, require ZWL$13 million for refurbishment and furnishing.
This is after the government was forced to look for alternative accommodation to isolate returning citizens as the educational facilities they were using have been handed back to the school authorities in preparation for the resumption of learning activities.
For now, returnees in the resort town have been moved to Encore Budget Hotel while other are being housed at Inyathi Training Centre in Bubi district.
“The whole province now has two operational quarantine centres namely Encore Budget Hotel and Inyathi Training Centre,” said Social Welfare Officer Macnon Chirinzepi.
“Mosi Oa Tunya High School and Mabhikwa High School are no longer quarantine centres. Returnees currently at Mosi Oa Tunya High School and Mabhikwa High School will be transferred to Encore Budget Hotel Quarantine Centre and Inyathi Training Centre respectively from today (Sunday) onwards, “
Chirinzepi added: “The identified facilities that we can use as a province to host our returnees have no proper equipment like beds, water and food, while most of them require renovation so we opted to book this hotel and we will be paying rent, electricity and water bills.”
However, Chirinzepi refused to reveal the total figure for each occupant.
Currently, 43 returnees being 24 males and 19 females are housed Encore Budget Hotel Quarantine Centre which has a carrying capacity of 100 occupants.
As of Sunday, the province received 4 returnees being 2 males from Zambia and 2 females from Namibia and South Africa, while 6 returnees were discharged today from the centres.
Chirinzepi said Inyathi Training Centre on weekend received one unaccompanied female child returnee from South Africa.
The centre has an enrolment of 21 returnees being 8 males and 13 females.
Phezulu Lodge, a quarantine centre for self paying returnees has one female occupant.
The capacity of the centre is 43 people and cost per person per day is US$85.