Tatenda Chipungudzanye, News Editor
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has dispelled rumours that the Mutare woman who died recently had tested positive to COVID-19.
In a statement yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry Dr Agnes Mahomva said the woman’s tests were negative and no case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the country.
“The latest suspected case is that of a Mutare woman who returned from China more than a month ago on 24 January 2020.
“She presented to her general medical practitioner and was referred to Wilkins Hospital on Friday 6 March 2020 for COVID-19 tests but was confirmed dead on arrival.
“Her COVID-19 test subsequently came back negative,” said Dr Mahomva.
She said the country was prepared for any eventual case of COVID-19.
“Preparedness measures have been stepped up through heightened surveillance system at national, provincial and district level with special focus on all ports of entry throughout the country.
“All identified suspected cases have been appropriately followed up, tested and found to be negative for COVID-19.
“The Ministry would like to advise the nation that to date Zimbabwe has not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19,” she said.
Dr Mahomva said further tests were being conducted in South Africa and were coming out negative.
“Additional samples from all suspect cases are being sent for confirmation testing by the Regional Reference Laboratory, the South African Institute of Communicable Diseases laboratory.
“To date all samples have tested negative for COVID-19,” she said.
Dr Mahomva said test kits for COVID-19 had been procured and some received as donations from partners such as Who, Africa CDC, DFID and the Chinese government.
As part of preparedness, Dr Mahomva said all hospitals had been put on high alert for COVID-19 while training for medical staff is cascading to all provinces and districts.