March 16, 2020

Zim Govt to deploy more manpower to Beitbridge, as SA closes 35 borders

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Thupeyo Muleya

THE Zimbabwe Government will deploy more manpower to Beitbridge Border Post to intensify screening and surveillance to detect and manage cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) as positive cases continue to increase in South Africa.

The move is meant to strengthen the current operational procedures and manage an anticipated increase in travellers after Pretoria closed 35 land ports yesterday as part of drastic measures to combat the pandemic.

The country has also issued a travel ban on those coming from highly infectious countries including; Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and China as from Wednesday.

Prior to the latest development, some travellers would use the closed ports of entry that go through Botswana or Mozambique to access Zimbabwe.

In an interview, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo said he will soon be visiting the country and Sadc’s busiest border to ensure that everything is fine.

Currently, Beitbridge Border Post handles 14 000 people daily (off-peak) and 38 000 daily (in peak times).

On the other hand, South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi told journalists on Monday that although they have closed 35 land ports, they will not shut down Beitbridge because of its high economic activity as a commercial hub for Sadc.

He said they are increasing capacity and resources to those ports which remain operational to avoid any leakages.

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