Nine Malawian border jumpers test positive for COVID-19 in Zimbabwe

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HARARE, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Nine Malawian nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Zimbabwe after illegally crossing into the country from neighboring South Africa, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.

The nine border jumpers were intercepted along with 32 others by Zimbabwean security agents on Tuesday while seeking transport from haulage trucks in the border town.

The nine have now been put on isolation at a hotel in the border town of Beitbridge while 32 others have been moved to Harare where they await repatriation in liaison with the Malawian Embassy.

"The group was profiled and screened for COVID-19 and nine have been isolated in Beitbridge pending further PCR tests," said Totamirepi Tirivavi, the director of social welfare in Zimbabwe's Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare.

"These will only be allowed to travel once they are fit to do so. We have since moved others to Harare in liaison with the Malawian Embassy pending their repatriation," he said.

Meanwhile, police said they are yet to locate 19 people who escaped quarantine in Beitbridge on Monday night.

So far, 27 people have escaped from the Beitbridge quarantine center since it started operating. Five others absconded mandatory quarantine at an isolation center in Chiredzi in the last few days.

Zimbabwe is putting returning residents and other travelers from COVID-19 hot spots under mandatory quarantine for 21 days. Enditem

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