Zimbabwe urges citizens to avoid rides in cross-border haulage trucks

HARARE (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government on Monday urged citizens not to catch lifts from cross-border trucks as this posed a health risk to them and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been reports of truck drivers assisting travellers to evade lockdown travel restrictions by hiding them in trailers and compartments of their vehicles.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said those catching lifts from the haulage trucks were risking the lives of many others.

“Ministry of Health and Child Care reports two new positive cases. One is a UK returnee. The other is a cross-border truck driver who tested positive in Zambia and was confirmed positive in Zimbabwe.

“Those that catch lifts on cross-border trucks are risking us all, and endangering their families,” he said on Twitter.

Mangwana had earlier said that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had allowed trade between member states to continue, so supplies could move within the region during different lockdown regimes.

His warning came as six Zimbabwean cross-border truck drivers tested positive for COVID-19 in Zambia on Friday after crossing into the country through the Chirundu border post.

To date, Zimbabwe has confirmed 46 COVID-19 cases and four deaths.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday said that testing of cross-border truck drivers will now be mandatory.

Zimbabwe has been on lockdown since March 30 with restrictions on inter-city travel.

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