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Thamani quarantine condemned as 'unhealthy'

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Thamani quarantine condemned as 'unhealthy'
FRANCISTOWN: Travellers placed under coronavirus quarantine at Thamani Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Tshesebe village have complained about the unhealthy conditions of the facility.

The quarantined individuals were taken from Ramokgwebana border on Tuesday upon arrival from Zimbabwe and were placed on a mandatory quarantine at the boarding dormitory.

Both the citizens and non-citizens who are residents of Botswana were placed under mandatory quarantine to further strengthening the coronavirus prevention measures from people coming from Zimbabwe, which has so far confirmed two cases of the disease.

Reports reaching this publication are that the citizens and non-citizens who are residents of Botswana placed under mandatory coronavirus quarantine are living under harsh conditions of poor ablution areas, dirty dormitories and lack protective clothing.

In an interview with one of quarantined individuals, a 32-year-old student Lesego Mosetlha said that he was quarantined on Tuesday after his return from Catholic University of Zimbabwe in the capital city Harare.

He said that upon arrival at the border they waited in a long queue where their temperatures where checked.

He further said: “When we were still waiting for that process at round three in the afternoon we were told that we will   be going for a mandatory quarantine for 14 days with immediate effect.” Mosetlha also said the officials at the border   failed to give them answers at that moment to explain what was going to happen to them. He said that it was announced at around 10 pm that they were going to be quarantined at Thamani JSS in Tshesebe village.

The concerned Selebi-Phikwe native said that when they left Ramokgwebana border those who were driving were told to leave their cars behind, as transport will be provided for them. He said that they left in a 65-seater bus together with three mini-buses occupied by 22 people each. He said that the bus and mini-buses had to return back and get more people from the border to the quarantine area.

Mosetlha said that upon arrival at Thamani JSS, about 240 people were told   to stay in groups of three people in the   school dormitory rooms. He added:

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“Both the rooms and ablution area unhygienic because they were dirty and with used sanitary pads lying around.”

He said that to make matters worse, they were not given soap nor hand sanitisers, masks, gloves and clean bedding.

He further said that they even complained to the officials on the ground that in return informed them that it was simply a legal directive from the authorities.

He added: “They threatened us that if we do not abide by it we will be sent back to Zimbabwe.” Mosetlha clarified that they are not refusing to be quarantined because they understand the benefits of it but their health should not be taken for granted in the process of quarantine.

He feared for his life because they were at higher risk of contracting Corona virus at the quarantine site.

He also said that: “We are not saying that the government should take us to luxurious places like hotels but   they should just provide a decent environment to protect us from coronavirus.” Another concerned student Tamaka Zembe praised the government move to quarantine all the travellers at the border as preventatives measure against Corona virus. She said: “I only have a problem with the environment we are living in at the moment. We do not have any doctors   here but just police officers surrounding the place.”

The 21-year-old student at the University of Zimbabwe said that social distancing is not practised at the moment as four people are expected to share a room. She said that on the first day some people preferred to sleep outside because the rooms were dehumanising and a disregard to human rights.

Zembe said that she felt for the infants and breast-feeding mothers for having being exposed   to such environment. She said that some of the people complained to the officials that they have missed their medication because they did not carry any because they thought they would be returning home on the same day.



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