“The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital confirmed yet another case of Covid-19, which brings to two the number of confirmed cases in Zimbabwe.
“This second patient is a 30-year-old male resident of Harare who had travelled to New York on February 29 and returned home in Harare on March 9 via Johannesburg.“He started exhibiting mild symptoms on March 12, which progressively got worse on March 19. He consulted his doctor who advised him to self-isolate at home,” Moyo said.
This comes as health experts and local authorities remain apprehensive dealing with the pandemic.
“Doctors are saying they fear going into casualty departments to see patients with suspected respiratory infections, because they might get exposed.“We call on the government to protect health workers.“We have seen in Italy, Spain and other countries that health workers have a high risk of getting the infection, and so we need to protect our health workers,” Matara said.
“I think the government is on the right track … However I don’t think the government is adequately prepared. There is need to improve on issues to do with protective clothes.
Meanwhile, local authorities are frantically trying to revive their ill-equipped infectious disease hospitals to serve as adequate isolation centres.
Among other essentials, the facilities require ventilators for patients with serious respiratory challenges, face masks, disposable gloves, testing kits and hand sanitisers.
“The hospital needs equipment and more test kits … our health team has already undergone training to handle the cases.
“Currently, we have very few testing kits and human capital which might get overwhelmed if there is a massive outbreak,” Mayor Josiah Makombe told the Daily News On Sunday.
“We need at least US$400 000 to renovate the Mutare Infectious Hospital … so that it meets the standard required for a safe isolation unit,” Tandi said.
The city’s divisional environmental health officer, Patrick Ncube, said they submitted their requirements to the Health ministry in early February.
“We were promised the requirements would be met, but up to date, we haven’t received anything including personal protective equipment, which is one of the most important items to protect healthcare workers,” he said.
“We are satisfied with our preparations. I know some are sceptical, but we are ready to help our people,” he said.
According to the WHO, the coronavirus comes from a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.