Police in Malawi have launched a manhunt after hundreds of people, some with the coronavirus escaped from a quarantine center in Blantyre.

According to reports, 400 people recently repatriated from South Africa and elsewhere fled a center at a stadium by jumping over the fence while others just strolled out with the authorities unable to stop them citing a lack of adequate protective gear.

At least 46 escapees had tested positive for the virus and some said told reporters they had bribed police on their way out.

The same is happening in Zimbabwe where the police are looking for more than 100 people who escaped from centers where a 21-day quarantine is mandatory for those returning from abroad.

“They escape and sneak into the villages … We are warning people to stop sheltering them. These escapees are becoming a serious danger to communities,”

A police spokesman said.

Nearly all of Zimbabwe’s 75 new cases this week came from the centers that hold hundreds of people who have returned, sometimes involuntarily, from neighboring South Africa and Botswana.

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