Gweru Mayor Josiah Makombe has said stigma is forcing people to avoid quarantine centres.
In his monthly Covid-19 update Makombe said there is need to de stigmatise quarantine centres so that the province curb the spread of Covid-19.
He further highlighted that COVID 19 positive cases are continuing to increase exponentially.
“So far in Gweru we have 15 positive cases of COVID 19 and one death due to COVID 19. We have to face it head on,” Makombe said.
“We are hearing of cases were some people are dodging mandatory quarantine centres by entering the country through illegal entry points. Now the million dollar question is why are people scared of quarantine centres?.
“Many people coming into Zimbabwe are scared of being in quarantine for the fear of getting tested and knowing that they are COVID 19 positive. It is fear of the unknown.
“If we managed to de-stigmatise HIV, I’m certain we can do the same with COVID 19. Let us condition our minds and have faith that a cure will be found however in the mean time we need to practise hand hygiene; ensure that we practise social distancing and isolation at all costs. We have to conform to the laws of the country by going to quarantine centres once we enter the nation from a foreign land.
“It is for our own good and the good of the nation. Let us be each other’s keepers report any one who comes into the country without first going to the quarantine centre,” Makombe said.
Meanwhile, Makombe has said the city’s revenue collection was greatly affected by the lockdown.
“We urge our esteemed residents to assist the local authority by paying the little that they have to the local authority.
“Fuel challenges continue affecting us it has slowed down refuse collection and swift response to water and sewer,” he said.
Makombe further highlighted that central government is assisting in Covid-19 efforts in Gweru.
“We received $30 000 from central government used to train our health practitioners and 1,4million dollars which we used to procure protective clothing for our health workers. We later received 4million dollars which we used to renovate the Infectious disease hospital,” he said.