By Nyaradzo Bakari
Bulawayo has recorded its first case of coronavirus which resulted in the death of a 79 year old, marking the second death from the deadly virus in Zimbabwe.
The man died on Saturday April 4, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 11.
Despite him having died during the weekend , his results were only confirmed three days later, raising question about the country’s corona testing system.
In its coronavirus update on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said the man was admitted at a local hospital on Thursday April 2.
The name of the hospital was not specified.
The deceased, a resident of the city, had traveled to a tourist resort in Hwange but had never been outside the country.
“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 cough, sore throat and fever. When he did not improve on oral antibiotic treatment, he presented to a local hospital on Thursday 2 April 2020, where he was admitted,” said the Health Ministry.
“At the time of admission, he had presented with a cough, difficulty in breathing, sore throat and fever 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 the 16th of March 2020. He was therefore admitted for clinical management as a case of bacterial Pneumonia with an underlying co-morbidity.”
The Ministry said his condition deteriorated during the evening on the day of admission and he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for critical care and management in isolation under a Specialist Physician.
“The local Covid-19 Rapid Response Team was called in and samples were collected and sent to the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) for Covid-19 testing. Whilst waiting for the Covid-19 test results, the patient continued to receive intravenous antibiotics and additionally, he received medical treatment as a clinical case of Covid-19. On Saturday the 4th of April, his condition continued to deteriorate despite management in ICU until he deceased,” the update read.
Contact tracing for this case is still ongoing.
Bulawayo has two identified isolation centres for Covid-19 patients, with Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital expected to attend to mild coronavirus cases while Ekusileni Hospital is expected to attend to serious ones.
Thorngrove Hospital is of now undergoing renovations which according to reports need about US$300 000 to be able to accommodate 50 patients.
A week ago, The Government also imposed a 21 day lockdown to reduce the spread of the virus and disinfection of public places is currently underway.