‘I’m not supposed to go out, but my government is not worried about how I’m surviving’
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s coronavirus cases rose to 10 on Monday.
The latest patient is a 24-year-old female who arrived from the United Kingdom two weeks ago, the ministry of health said.
She is “clinically stable and under self-isolation at home.”
“The local rapid response team visited her home after receiving an alert call to assess the family, and samples were taken for COVID-19 testing,” the ministry said.
Her sample was one of 13 tested at the Microbiology Reference Laboratory – the only facility doing tests in Zimbabwe – and only hers was positive, according to health officials.
The health ministry has, meanwhile, reacted to criticism of neglecting coronavirus patients by insisting that they continue to be provided with “essential clinical management and support.”
Saul Sakudya, 52, who tested positive after traveling to Dubai last month, spoke out at the weekend criticizing the ministry of health over how it handled his case. His wife and 21-year-old son have also tested positive.
“The government has not been supportive. It is not walking the talk. I was quarantined on March 24 and up to now, no-one from the Ministry of Health or any government department has been here to see me, or provide food,” he told The Standard.
“We’re under a national lockdown. I’m not supposed to go out, but my government is not worried about how I’m surviving. What’s the social welfare department doing if it can’t help the vulnerable?”
Sakudya (pictured) wondered how the government would cope if cases multiplied in the winter months ahead, when it cannot get a handle on just 10 patients, one of whom died after Wilkins Hospital in Harare failed to get a ventilator for him.
The ministry, without mentioning Sakudya, appeared to react to his criticism by insisting that “local health care workers continue to monitor” all the nine patients.
“Additionally, geospatial systems are being utilised to map all the known contacts of these cases for active contact tracing,” the ministry added.
The novel coronavirus which causes a disease known as Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, late last year. By 5AM on Tuesday, it had killed at least 74,782 people worldwide and infected 1.3 million. About 286,453 of that number recovered.
Zimbabwe reported its first coronavirus case on March 20. The numbers have remained low, government critics say, because of the slow rate of testing with less than 360 samples having been tested to date.
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