Police in Zimbabwe and Malawi have launched a manhunt for hundreds of people who fled the COVID-19 quarantine centres.
In Malawi, those who have escaped include more than 400 people who were recently repatriated from South Africa and other countries.
They reportedly fled a centre after jumping over a fence while police and health workers watched.
The police and health workers say they couldn’t stop them as they lacked adequate protective gear.
At least 46 of the escapees had tested positive for the virus. The situation is not different in Zimbabwe where over 100 people have escaped from the quarantine centre.
Police spokesman Paul Nyathi said officers were “hunting down” more than 100 people who escaped from a centre where a 21-day quarantine is mandatory for those returning from abroad.
“They escaped and sneaked into the villages. We are warning people to stop sheltering them. These escapees are becoming a serious danger to communities,” Nyathi said.
— Zodiak Online (@zodiakonline) May 27, 2020
Nearly all of Zimbabwe’s 75 new cases this week came from the centres that hold hundreds of people who have returned, sometimes involuntarily, from neighboring South Africa and Botswana.
Both Zimbabwe and Malawi have fewer than 200 confirmed cases.