‘Local coronavirus infections ominous’ 

Sindiso Mhlophe

HEALTH experts have once again bemoaned the rising cases of coronavirus in the country — especially those related to local transmission, the Daily News reports.

This comes after the number of Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 infections jumped to 174 over the weekend.
The president of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR), Fortune Nyamande, said the rise in locally transmitted cases was extremely worrying.
“Contact tracing, isolation and treatment of all the confirmed cases must be done. Additionally, the government must upscale its     surveillance at the ports of entry and also ensure that illegal entry points are sealed.
“The conditions in the quarantine facilities must be urgently improved to block those who intend to escape from these facilities and to ensure that people in those facilities do not spread the disease amongst each other or to healthcare workers who then interact with the community,” Nyamande told the Daily News.
The secretary-general of the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA), Aaron Musara, said the increase in the number of local transmissions was an indication that the country still had a lot to do to manage the disease.
“What we need to do now is to strengthen the measures that were put in place to minimise the spread of the virus, including social distancing, washing hands with running water or using sanitisers, staying at home and wearing face masks properly.
“This is very important because if we relax these preventative measures, the number of local transmissions will grow beyond what we can manage, given the state of our health system.
“The new seven cases that were recorded are probably as a result of people relaxing and not following preventative measures,” Musara said.
Meanwhile, the deputy director of epidemiology and disease control in the Health ministry, Andrew Phiri, has said that the new local cases highlighted the need to improve safety measures at the country’s quarantine facilities.
“The new cases which were recorded are all contacts of known confirmed Covid-19 cases. They are not local infections coming from nowhere.
“What this means is that we have returnees who are in quarantine centres who have tested positive for Covid-19 and the people who are taking care of them end up catching the virus and being in contact with other people without knowing that they have the virus,” he said.
“We have, however, been able to carry out contact tracing and isolate those who test positive.
“So, we currently don’t have purely local transmission where we don’t know how a person got infected. The recorded transmissions are all linked to known cases.
“What this requires is the strengthening of prevention measures in and outside quarantine facilities to ensure that the disease does not spread locally any further,” Phiri said further.
Zimbabwe has so far recorded four deaths from the 174 infections.
1 Comment
  1. Mushayi T J says

    Returnees should be tested and resilts released before they are allowed to interact with others in quarantine centres.

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