Zimbabwe records second COVID-19 death

BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe has recorded its second COVID-19 death, with a 79-year-old Bulawayo man succumbing to the disease on Saturday, in yet another illustration of the country’s preparedness in dealing with the virus.

The Bulawayo man’s results were only confirmed Tuesday, three days after his death.

The unidentified man, who becomes the 11th case, presented to his general practitioner on March 23 with a cough, fever and sore throat.

He had not travelled outside the country but had been to a tourist resort in Hwange between March 14 and 16.

According to the latest Health ministry updates the man was prescribed some antibiotics but his condition did not improve.

“He presented to a local hospital on Thursday where he was admitted as he was having difficulty in breathing,” a statement from the ministry said.

He was initially managed as a case of bacterial pneumonia but when he continued to deteriorate, a local COVID-19 response team was summoned and they took samples.

The patient died on Saturday while still waiting for results, which only became available on Tuesday.

The ministry said contact tracing was in progress.

On Sunday, our sister publication, The Standard, reported how a Ruwa man’s testing had been bungled and how clumsily his quarantine was being handled.

So far the country has confirmed 11 COVID-19 cases.

Zororo Makamba’s death on March 23 was the first confirmed COVID-19 death in the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a 21-day lockdown ending on April 29, but included a long list of “essential workers” who were allowed to continue working and this could inadvertently work against efforts to contain the coronavirus which has so far killed more than 80 000 people worldwide.

On Tuesday, Mbare Musika was reopened, with sceptics warning that this could hasten the spread of the disease.

There is still no queue for the virus, while a vaccine could be more than a year away. – News Day

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