By Nesia Mhaka
Zimbabwe will now subject people travelling from or transiting from India to mandatory quarantine at a designated quarantine centre to stop the spread of a Covid-19 variant that was first detected in that country.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who doubles up as Vice president, said the travellers will also be subjected to a Covid-19 test on arrival regardless of their travel certificates.
Zimbabwe requires travellers coming into the country from other countries to present a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test done not more than 48 hours from the time of departure.
If they fail to produce certificates that they tested negative for the respiratory disease, visitors would be forced to take Covid-19 tests on arrival at their own cost.
Those put under mandatory quarantine for 10 days will stay at hotels designated by the government at their own expense.
At the end of the quarantine period, the visitors will be subjected to another PCR test, again at their own expense.
Zimbabwe is battling to keep Covid-19 cases low to prevent a situation where its health delivery system is overwhelmed.
The country witnessed a high number of Covid-19 deaths, including those of prominent people, at the beginning of the year after a surge in cases during the festive season.
This was attributed to unrestricted travel, especially from South Africa, which at the time had just discovered a more infectious Covid-19 variant.
Some Zimbabwe health facilities ran out of oxygen, which is critical in the treatment of severe Covid-19 cases, resulting in many deaths.
The Indian variant of Covid-19 is said to spread faster than other known variants and causes more fatalities.