HARARE – Government’s ill-preparedness to deal with the highly contagious Coronavirus was exposed in a spectacular fashion after a patient succumbed to the novel virus before his results had been released.
He becomes Zimbabwe’s eleventh case for Covid-19 case and brings the mortality rate to 18.2%.
A statement released by the secretary for health Tuesday evening stated that a 79-year old Bulawayo resident succumbed to the pandemic although the health practitioners were treating him for pneumonia and not as a Covid-19 patient.
“The eleventh case was a 79-year old male resident of Bulawayo who initially presented to a general practitioner on the 23rd of March 2020 with a history of coughing, sore through and fever. When he did not improve on oral antibiotic treatment, he presented to a local hospital on Thursday, 2nd April, 2020 where he admitted. At the time of admission he had presented with cough, difficulty in breathing, sore through but no reported history of travel outside Zimbabwe. He however indicated that he had been to a tourist resort in Hwange from the 14th to 16 March, 2020. He was therefore admitted for clinical management as a case of bacterial pneumonia with an underlying comorbidity,” read part of the statement.
Zimbabwe has been battling to conduct tests and proper surveillance of Covid 19 cases despite declaring it a nation disaster as well as imposing a total lockdown. Elsewhere other countries are implementing anti-body tests and mass testing.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has called for an urgent audit of the circumstances leading to the death of the Bulawayo man expressing concern over the continued lack of preparedness by Government.
It took five days for the results to come out while there are also concerns about the exposure to public health officials at the hospital who did not have adequate PPE.