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UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS ARRIVING IN ZIMBABWE FROM SOUTH AFRICA either through the border , using other illegal entry points and some paying bribes to enter the the country without producing the Covid-19 free certificates are a major concern as Zimbabwe authorities fear the new Covid-19 variant recently detected in neighbouring South Africa might have crossed over into the country.
Government has already initiated scientific researches to determine its presence or lack thereof.
In an interview, the Covid-19 National Coordinator in the President’s Office Dr Agnes Mahomva said while there was no human scientific evidence on the presence of the new variant, Government was suspecting that immigrants from South Africa which is the epicenter of the second wave in the region might have brought it.
There have been several cases of undocumented immigrants going and coming from South Africa either through the border or using other illegal entry points while some would bribe their way into the country without producing the Covid-19 free certificates.
Dr Mahomva said Government researchers and scientists are doing laboratory tests to establish whether the new variant has reached our shores after the rate at which the virus is spreading under the second wave which the country has witnessed since the beginning of the year had a resemblance of the new variant.
“There is a possibility that the country may have the new variant of the Covid-19 which was also observed in neighbouring South Africa. There was a lot of movement during the festive season and a lot of people visited the country during that time. There is no human scientific evidence yet but indications are that we may have it. Our teams are in the laboratories doing tests to see if some of the new cases are caused by the new variant. It is a possibility considering the rate at which the virus has been spreading,” she said.
Dr Mahomva said Government was also mobolising resources and making deliberations on the new Covid-19 vaccine.
“We are working on the issue of vaccines. We are still deliberating on it and see how best we can go about it. We will make announcements soon on which direction the Government will be taking. We have had a lot of potential partners who have also partnered us in many areas that required vaccination. However, there is nothing conclusive yet regarding some of the partners who have shown interests. As a country we will be mobilizing our own resources and we will continuously do so since the vaccine works for a certain period of time,” she said. Sundaynews. PICTURE: Dr Agnes Mahomva