Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
THIRTEEN more returnees escaped from quarantine centres on Thursday night and early yesterday morning, bringing the national total number of people who have escaped from quarantine centres to 222.
Eight people escaped from Esikhoveni Training Centre in Matabeleland South on Thursday night while five escaped from Mushagashe Training Centre in Masvingo in the early hours of yesterday morning.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said one of the people who had escaped from Esikhoveni Training Centre later surrendered themselves to authorities, bringing arrests to 29.
“We are concerned with people who are escaping from quarantine centres but we are investigating these cases. This morning five people escaped from Mushagashe Training Centre in Masvingo while eight escaped from Esikhoveni Training Centre in Matabeleland South last night. The previous day four people escaped from the same institution.
“This brings the number of people who have so far escaped from quarantine centres to 222 and we have made 29 arrests. The police and other stakeholders have been working together to ensure security is improved in these quarantine centres such as fencing, walls and proper lighting. This is an issue of paramount importance as it is putting the members of the public at risk,” he said yesterday.
Asst Comm Nyathi appealed to those housed in quarantine centres and members of the public to act responsibly.
He said in order for returnees to be united with their families they had to act responsibly.
Asst Comm Nyathi said of the eight that escaped from Esikhoveni Training Centre five were females, two were males and one juvenile.
Police and the military have raised a concern over lack of proper security systems at quarantine facilities as some returnees were taking advantage of these loopholes to escape.
Some quarantine centres in Matabeleland South province don’t have proper security systems such as locks on the doors and perimeter fencing. Pangani Training Centre in Filabusi doesn’t have a perimeter fence which means that those under quarantine can have contact with the community. — @DubeMatutu