POLICE have launched a manhunt for an unidentified 33-year-old male Covid-19 patient said to have escaped from an isolation centre at the Harare Polytechnic College last week Monday.
He is among 180 returning citizens who escaped from Covid-19 quarantine facilities in recent days and most of them are yet to be accounted for.
On Saturday, the figure of escapees had risen from 146 to 180 and this includes a man who had just tested positive to the disease. Police had managed to track and arrest 28 escapees and they have since been placed under quarantine.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the manhunt of the Covid-19 positive man who escaped last Monday.
Another 28-year-old man also escaped from the Harare facility before getting results of his tests.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is appealing for information which may lead to the location of a 33-year-old man who escaped from Harare Polytechnic isolation centre on June 15, 2020, after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus and another 28-year-old man also escaped on June 17, 2020, before getting results of his test.
“Family members, friends and close associates of the two are implored to report so that the spread of Covid-19 by the two can be curtailed,” he said.
Nyathi said last week, 2020 four returnees escaped from quarantine centres including two from Harare Polytechnic and two from Plumtree High, which saw the number of escapees increasing to 180.
He added since May 16, 2020, police had arrested at least 180 border jumpers and smugglers.
“On Monday, June 18, 2020, two truck drivers were arrested for illegally carrying passengers in contravention of the stipulated exemption directives. Cumulative arrests since June 1, 2020, now stand at 60,” he said.
Zimbabwe currently has 479 confirmed cases, five deaths and 63 recoveries. The country has been under lockdown since 31 March, as a way of seeking to contain the spread of the disease.
People continue to escape from quarantine centres across the country due to substandard facilities and food despite the government having beefed up security with soldiers.
This has seen the rate of local infections increasing in recent days.
Meanwhile, Midlands provincial minister Larry Mavhima has confirmed the death of an unidentified Gweru woman from Covid-19 Friday. This brings to five the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths in the country.
Addressing a Zanu PF district coordinating meeting in Gokwe Saturday, Mavhima said the woman was only confirmed to be Covid-19 positive after her death.
“Midlands recorded its death on Friday. The woman was tested and she was discovered to be positive. This means local transmissions are on the increase in the country.”