Sunday, 1 November 2020

COVID-19 : SEVEN FAMILY MEMBERS QUARANTINED

SEVEN family members in Victoria Falls have been placed on self-isolation at home after testing Covid-19 positive.

Victoria Falls town reported eight new cases on Thursday which becomes the highest number to be recorded in a day in the town since the first case of the coronavirus was recorded in March.

Acting Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani said the seven family members are contacts of a known case that had earlier travelled to Bulawayo. All the patients are adults.

Dr Padingani said the eighth case is a truck driver who has been quarantined at an isolation centre.

“Eight new cases were reported in Victoria Falls. One is a truck driver while seven are contacts of a local case that had travelled to Bulawayo and tested positive on return. The case was initially symptomatic but has now improved and is asymptomatic. The seven are not symptomatic and are isolated at home,” said Dr Padingani.

He could not give details about the family or clarify if it is related to the patient that had travelled to Bulawayo.

This comes as the province is conducting contact tracing for another positive case that was reported at St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane a few days ago.  

Dr Padingani urged citizens to remain vigilant and continue following Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks, sanitising and practising social distancing.

Tourism executives also concurred and urged residents to adhere to health guidelines so that efforts being made to revive tourism are not derailed.

“We need to ensure that people don’t get off guard in following health protocols. The cases are a wake-up call for all of us to be aware that reopening the economy doesn’t mean that Covid-19 is gone. We also must not sensationalise the cases so that we remain attractive as a destination,” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe chair for the Victoria Falls chapter Mr Anald Musonza.

Employers Association for the Tourism and Safari Operators president Mr Clement Mukwasi said: “This should not be a scare but we should take it as a good sign that we now have the ability to detect cases and that speaks to the efficiency of our health system. This means we won’t be a hotspot as a town when tourists start coming because cases will be detected. These new cases are a reminder that we should go back to basics and follow all health protocols such as wearing masks and practising social distancing.”

Last Tuesday, Government warned citizens against being complacent. Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa also dismissed claims that the virus is weak in summer.

Matabeleland North has a total of 153 confirmed cases and 139 recoveries. The first Covid-19 case to be detected in the country was in Victoria Falls and the patient recovered. Chronicle

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