#BREAKING: Bulawayo Records Increase In Community Transmissions Of COVID-19

FOLLOWING government’s decentralisation of COVID-19 testing, Bulawayo seem to be recording an increased number of community transmissions mostly among contacts to the late case number 11.

By Michael Gwarisa

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis (TB) Reference Laboratory in Bulawayo, out of the six samples that were collected for testing, three turned out positive.  The total number of COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe now stand at 17.

Case number 15 is a 34-year-old female resident of Bulawayo. She has no recent history of travel or known contact with a confirmed case. She was referred for assessment by local Rapid Response Team (RRT) after she was found to have fever on routine screening. As part of our intensified surveillance, samples were collected for testing. She is stale, with mild diseases and self-isolating at home.

“Case number 16 is a 52-year-old female resident of Bulawayo who was a direct contact of the late case number 11. She consulted with the local RRT presenting with a three-day history of headache. The RRT visited her at home for assessment and collected samples for testing. She is stable, with mild disease and is self-isolating at home,” said the Ministry of Health.

The 17th case is a 79-year-old female who is also resident of Bulawayo who stays in the same gated community where the late case number 11 resided even though she denied any direct contact with the late.

“She consulted with the local RRT visited her at her home for assessment and collected samples for testing. She is also self-isolating at her home.”

To date, Zimbabwe has tested a total of 607 tests where 17 positive have reported including three deaths and 587 negatives. No recoveries have been recorded yet.

Meanwhile, a Ministry of Health and Child Care report indicates that the country is in the process of decentralizing testing to provincial and district level. Decentralization of Covid-19 testing to provincial and district level, to increase testing of more suspected cases to at least 33 000 per month.
“This will be done through increasing testing in-patients with pneumonia and out-patients with flu like illness. “Strengthening contact tracing for the confirmed cases in view of local transmission,” read part of the report.

Covid-19 testing currently remains centralized in Harare, a development which has been criticized by health experts for delaying turnaround time for results. Zimbabwe seeks to use existing Genexpert machines to intensify testing with reliable sources from the National Laboratory confirming that testing of 33 000 people per month was feasible as long as required consumables are availed. Zimbabwe has 133 Genexpert machine



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