Zimbabwe quarantine centers a health hazard

indafrica June 29, 2020
Updated 2020/06/29 at 3:04 AM

This is my experience at a quarantine center being managed by the Zimbabwean government. It’s been two weeks since I’ve been released from one of the quarantine centers in the capital city of Zimbabwe and im still trying to deal with the trauma of being in such a pigsty.

I’m not sure if we can refer to these as quarantine centers when they look like detention or concentration camps with a few privileges offered.

I personally think our government must offer therapy facilities for everyone that went through the horror of being in their quarantine or at least improve the standards of their centers.

You probably have seen a lot of bad press about these quarantine centers, I’ve been there and I can confirm its all true. While money is being looted in the country a lot of our relatives coming back home from abroad are suffering in silence in those so called quarantine centers.

Most people come in healthy and fit, negative of covid-19 but to their surprise they tested positive. How is this possible? In our case at Harare polytechnic we were constantly exposed to positive people. At one point when the catering team was on strike, we were served food by someone who had tested positive for the virus.

This is how it happened. Once People were tested it took at least four days before they received their results. When results of positive cases where in, no one was available to ensure that those who had tested positive were self-isolating. Because they was no one to ensure that health measures such as social distancing were practiced it was easy for the virus to be spread across the whole center.

As the World Health Organization said, other ways to ensure one doesn’t get infected by the virus is by making sure that they stay in a clean environment. One would expect quarantine centers to be squeaky clean, this turned to be a fantasy for us. In the days I was quarantined at Harare Polytechnic the most common and essential rooms (toilets and sleeping rooms) were never cleaned. The day we checked in, the rooms were very dirty not fit for human settlement.

Toilets at Harare Polytechnic Quarantine center

ountless times we asked our matron why no one came to clean our toilets but we never got a clear answer until we took matters into our own hand and asked for equipment to clean them ourselves.

I remember very well the last time I got sanitized publicly was when I was getting into the bus from Johannesburg.

Anyone that was quarantined at Harare polytechnic will testify that sanitizers and face masks were never made available for us, meaning those who didn’t have their own left the place without being sanitized. Now imagine during this time of a pandemic someone stays in a quarantine center for 21 days or more but doesn’t get a drop of hand sanitizers.

The only way to get things done was by protesting which also later led to intimidation by the security forces. People were later given sanitizers after a series of protests; this was a once of thing.
Due to lack of hygiene some people will probably get infected by some illnesses such as cholera and typhoid but no one will talk about it.

The Zimbabwean government must start thinking of putting people’s live first before their pockets. The looting and corruption scandals of Coivd-19 material has left many lives at the risk of infecting other diseases that are not covid-19.

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