Tuesday 2 June 2020


THREE medical students from the National University of Science Technology (Nust) have tested Covid-19 positive bringing the cumulative number of cases which have been recorded in Bulawayo to 20.

The trio was tested just before resuming their studies. The medical school is housed at Mpilo Central Hospital where the final year students were screened.

One of the students has been admitted to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital in the city.  The city is, however, mulling moving all infected people to Elangeni Training Centre for easier monitoring.

Officials are following up on the latest eight cases which include four patients from Mpilo Central Hospital.

Speaking during a donation handover ceremony at the Large City Hall yesterday, Bulawayo’s Director of Health Services Dr Edwin Sibanda said: “There are 20 cases that have been recorded in Bulawayo and only one death. Of the total, nine recovered, two are yet to be tested this week to establish if they are recovered. There are three students from Nust who had come to resume their lessons and tested positive on arrival at the institution. One was from Mutare, one from Mberengwa and the third one is from Bulawayo.

“One of the four Mpilo patients was discharged and sent to Thorngrove hospital because his home environment was not conducive for self-isolation-compared to others.” 

He said going forward, the health department would want to monitor infected people from one central place.

“We are at a stage where we would want to monitor all of them easily and we may move all of them to Elangeni Training Centre until they have recovered.”

Dr Sibanda emphasised the need for members of the public to correctly and consistently use masks and practise social distancing.

He said the local authority had also activated five additional rapid response teams to deal with the growing number of Covid-19 cases.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira said he had not received any information on the three Nust students.

“I am yet to be informed if ever that happened,” he said. “So, in terms of generic story, we are going to do blended learning online and offline. Universities have already started opening. There was a story where someone went to court and lost the case on Friday claiming we do not know what we were doing. The issue basically is when we do what we do we are cognisant of the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and WHO. All I know is students will do blended learning.”

Meanwhile, Stanbic Bank yesterday donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital which include suits, masks, face shields, goggles and gloves.

“The 400 suits, 3 000 surgical masks, 600 N95 masks, 125 face shields, 400 goggles and 4 000 gloves will come in handy for the frontline staff manning the health institution. There are many frontline workers in need of PPEs and to show our appreciation of their efforts, we are here to support them with PPEs.,” said Ms Selisi Chavinda, a branch manager from the bank.

Stanbic has contributed to the purchase of PPEs and other equipment through the provision of US$2.8 million credit and allocation of foreign currency to its clients in the medical industry to acquire the needed health care items to help fight Covid-19.  Chronicle


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