Thursday, 12 March 2020


THREE suspected cases of coronavirus have been reported at Mpilo Central Hospital and the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).

The city’s emergency services have reacted swiftly to the cases. So far, no one has tested positive of the virus in Zimbabwe despite numerous suspected cases.

A Zimbabwean woman who is said to have travelled to Dubai and returned to Bulawayo via South Africa this week was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital with flu-like symptoms.

The hospital’s Public Relations Officer Mr Ozias Ndlovu confirmed the incident yesterday.

While stressing that the hospital was just following laid down emergency response procedures, he said the patient has not yet tested positive for Covid-19 and it could have been a false alarm. “We received a patient who presented herself this afternoon. She showed flu like symptoms. She had travelled to Dubai and returned via South Africa. She arrived in the city sometime this week. She said her husband in South Africa also had flu.  However, we are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that we treat the matter carefully as we cannot be lax,” he said.

 “We are working on modalities to transfer the patient to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.” 

Later, Mr Ndlovu said the woman was examined by the Rapid Response Team (RRT) and appears to be free of the virus.

“However, we have put her under self-quarantine at her home for 21 days as an additional precaution,” he said.

At UBH two people who were said to have recently travelled to Italy allegedly presented at the hospital with Coronavirus like symptoms.  UBH Clinical Director Dr Narcisius Dzvanga dismissed the allegations and said UBH had not attended to any white patients in a very long time.

The patients were allegedly attended to by personnel from Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital, who had to be called to the scene when nurses at UBH refused to attend to them. 

Bulawayo City Council, which runs Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital said they did not receive the matter and referred questions to UBH staff.

In a Press statement, BCC senior public relations officer Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said the city has a rapid response team on call to attend to suspected Covid-19 cases.

“It (RRT) responds to calls from all over the city to assess if the client fits the WHO case definition for Covid-19 and then either; Causes the patient to be moved to Thorngrove, along with follow up provisions for isolation, or/ and excludes the patient as a suspect, hence the patient can have all their medical services in the usual manner,” she said.

She said council was training health staff to capacitate them to deal the virus. Chronicle


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