By Thupeyo Muleya
Commercial truck drivers and cross border transporters, commonly referred to as Omalayitsha must produce a certificate when they arrive at a Zimbabwean border post indicating they are Covid-19 free or undergo 10-days mandatory quarantine while they await testing.
Truckers have been passing through the country without Covid-19 clearance certificates.
At least 40 000 commercial trucks pass through Beitbridge Border Post monthly and most now have the proper paperwork.
According to Beitbridge District Medical Officer Dr Lenos Samhere, some disregard the processes although they would have been allocated funds to test before leaving their originating country.
Under the new rules, all drivers arriving at the border without clearance certificates done through the PCR method were being put on mandatory quarantining for at least 10 days.
PCR machines are designed to process 90 tests at a time and testing fewer samples is costly and inefficient, so the truckers might have to wait.
Dr Samhere said the PCR certificates for commercial truck drivers were valid for 30 days and after which they should do another test.
Omalayitsha should do retests after every two weeks.
Dr Samhere said the normal returnees arriving in the country were being screened through the rapid antigens method.
“Those that test negative are dispatched to their homes, while those who test positive for the condition are immediately put into isolation,” he said.
“You will note that for commercial truck drivers and cross border transporters, we strictly require PCR obtained results as per the current set guidelines. Those being put in quarantine or isolation are handled at the National Social Security (NSSA) Hotel where over 14 000 Zimbabweans have passed through between April last year and January 2021.”
Beitbridge also handles returnees in transit to Malawi and Zambia. The Herald