Sunday, 8 March 2020

WE WILL NOT HIDE CORONAVIRUS CASES : MINISTER


Government will not hide any case or death related to coronavirus in the country and should there be any confirmed case, information will immediately be available and recourse taken.

Only laboratory tests can confirm Covid-19 and these are done locally and other specimen are also sent to South Africa for confirmatory purposes.

To date, three of the five suspected cases sent for isolation at Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital, have since tested negative.

One of the suspected cases is under isolation and health workers are running all necessary tests. Another male adult has also been quarantined and was being monitored after travelling from Italy. 

He has no COVID-19 symptoms and test results were negative.

In an interview yesterday following the death of a Mutare-based Chinese woman, Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo said subsequent laboratory tests were negative of the virus.

The woman had returned from China on January 24, but presented to her doctor on March 6 complaining of shortness of breath. She was referred to Wilkins Hospital for Covid-19 tests, but died on her way. 

“There is no reason why we should hide such a condition of international importance. Once we get confirmation, we will immediately circulate to everyone because there are also precautionary measures to be taken at individual level, so there is no reason for us to hide any confirmed case,” said Dr Moyo.

He said after all, Zimbabwe was not the only country at risk of the disease adding that many other countries, including neighbouring South Africa have since confirmed cases.

In a statement yesterday, the Health and Child Care Ministry says preparedness measures have been stepped up through heightened surveillance at national, provincial and district level with special focus on all ports of entry.

The statement advises the public to be guided by its COVID-19 Situation Reports (SitReps) that are issued frequently.

South Africa yesterday confirmed a third case of coronavirus involving the wife of the first patient.

All the three confirmed cases were part of a group of 10 people who had travelled to Italy, nine of whom returned to South Africa. 

South Africa’s Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said results of the other six travellers were expected by tomorrow.

“This morning we received results of the direct contact of the first patient, his wife. She had also travelled with him to Italy as part of the group of 10. I now wish to advise the public that she has tested positive for Covid-19 and is therefore the third confirmed case in South Africa.

“We expected the results of the other six group members who had travelled to Italy within the next 48 hours,” said Dr Mkhize.

He also noted that the first patient’s children tested negative, but were still under surveillance.

Meanwhile, SADC is convening an emergency meeting of all SADC Health Ministers, scheduled to take place today in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Government through the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services tweeted that Health ministers are expected to come up with a position regarding member States’ preparedness.

“An emergency meeting of all SADC Health ministers is being convened to take place on Monday 9 March in Dar es Salaam, where a position will be taken on the preparedness of the member countries as they pave the way forward on how to tackle Coronavirus in the region,” reads the post.

To date, about 3 700 people have died of coronavirus in different parts of the world and over 102 000 others have been tested positive. Herald

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