by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – MORE than 13 000 Zimbabweans have returned to the country from neighbouring countries following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) since March.
Most returnees are from South Africa, which has the most severe outbreak of the pandemic in the continent. South Africa has confirmed over 511 000 cases. Deaths have exceeded 8 000.
The International Office of Migration (IOM) said the majority of Zimbabweans, numbering 6 910, had returned home via the Beitbridge border post with South Africa.
Some 2 796 have arrived through Plumtree which borders Botswana to the west. Botswana has confirmed slightly over 800 COVID-19 cases and two deaths.
Other Zimbabweans (2 174) have landed at the Robert Mugabe International airport in the capital, Harare.
Zimbabweans from Mozambique (646) in the east have crossed back via the Forbes border post. Mozambique has 1 946 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.
IOM confirmed the number of arrivals in Zimbabwe continued to increase daily.
It projects 20000 new arrivals in the next coming months.
This includes Zimbabweans coming from northern countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
The arrival of Zimbabweans back home represents a reversal of migration trends.
Millions have fled their country because of economic and political crises in recent years.
Zimbabwe confirmed that 3 921 people had contracted COVID-19, including 70 who died from the disease.
The government declared the COVID-19 crisis a national disaster in March.
– CAJ News