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Compulsory truck-driver Covid19 testing begins next week

By Paida Chipunza

Government will soon start compulsory testing for Covid- 19 on long-distance truck drivers following concerns that some cases could be going unreported owing to the tool used in screening them as they pass through the country.

These concerns followed revelations that some cases involving the truck drivers were testing positive in other countries such as Zambia yet they would have passed the initial screening here in Zimbabwe.

Long-distance truck drivers are the only ones permitted to travel to and from outside the country since the beginning of the national lockdown imposed by the Government.

Since then, they were being screened using temperature readings upon entry into the country but were not subjected to a quarantine process.

Environmental Health Services Director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Mr. Victor Nyamandi said Government sought to fill these ‘testing gaps’.

He said realising that the temperature screening was not good enough particularly for the long-distance truck drivers who drive to high-risk countries such as South Africa and Zambia, Government Is working on testing all of them as they enter the country beginning next week.

Yesterday (Thursday), disease epidemiology and control director in Harare City Council Dr. Kudzai Masunda revealed that Harare had two new cases of Covid-19 both of which were long-distance truck drivers but were diagnosed in Zambia.

Today (Friday), Zambian media reported that 10 cases involving long-distance truck drivers who entered the country through Chirundu Border Post tested positive for Covid- 19.

Of these 10, six are Zimbabweans and four are Zambians.