In a tragic scenario, two of the 17 returnees who last Friday escaped from a quarantine facility in Beitbridge after testing positive for Covid19, allegedly infected eight minors related to them with the novel coronavirus.

The eight minors who have since contracted Covid19 are all from the Madaulo area, located about 90 km east of the small border town of Beitbridge.

Health officials say the infected children, seven of them aged below 15 years, have since been isolated.

“We got a tip off of some people who were said to be very ill in that area. We then sent a rapid response team who upon arrival got news about two men who had escaped from the Nssa hotel (quarantine centre),” said Beitbridge District Medical Officer Dr Lenos Samhere.

“Tests were then done on 18 family members and seven children below 15 years tested positive for the condition. They are asymptomatic and have been put on self isolation. We will continue to monitor their condition,” Dr Samhere said.

Zimbabwe’s fight against Covid19 has continued to be jeopardised by rising numbers of people who escape from isolation centres in all of the country’s ten provinces.

Meanwhile, state media reported that six of the 17 Beitbridge escapees have since been located.