Zimbabwe Records Second COVID-19 death In Bulawayo; doctors points at lack of Resources and preparedness

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A 79-year-old Bulawayo man has succumbed to the disease on Saturday under what is suspected to slow response by the local Covid-19 team in taking samples and sanding them for testing. The country has 19 officially confirmed cases and 2 deaths that a related to the corona virus. The first confirmed death was of Zororo Makamba on March 23 who had traveled from USA.

The unidentified Bulawayo patient, had not traveled outside the country, and he reported to his general practitioner on March 23 with a cough, fever and sore throat. It took the Ministry of Health and Child Care 3 days to confirm the cause of the death and contact tracing was in progress. The man is also reported that he had been to a tourist resort in Hwange before he get unwell.

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The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights have called for urgent audit of the circumstances leading to the Bulawayo patient diagonised with Covid-19. The patient died on Saturday while still waiting for results, which only became available on Tuesday.

The statement released on the 7th April reads, “The ZADHR is deeply concerned by the continued lack of preparedness in handling severe Covid-19 in Zimbabwe. Equally, we are extremely worried by the possible exposure of health workers both in private and public facilities who are working without PPEs. We urge the authorities to account for the following grey areas in the management of this case,”

1. It took five days (from 2nd April to 7th April) to get the results of Covid-19 test a period which is rather too long.

2. The patient was treated at a local hospital. Is this an infectious disease hospital or COVID-19 designated facility?

3. The inability to diagonise in time is clear sign that health professionals attending to the deceased where exposed as they lack essential protective equipment (PPEs)

4. Does this case reflect the lack of knowledge on the case definition for suspected cases of Covid-19? The patient was first seen on 23 March and was not advised to self-quarantine, get tested for Covid-19, and managed as a suspected case.

5. What is the state of preparedness in centers outside Harare?

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