Ministry of Health and Child Care
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: 8 MARCH 2020
The Ministry of Health and Child Care would like to advise the nation that to date Zimbabwe has NOT had any confirmed cases of COVID19.
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All identified suspected cases have been appropriately followed up, tested and found to be negative for COVID19.
All tests were conducted by well-trained local laboratory teams. Additional samples from all suspect cases are being sent for confirmation testing by the Regional Reference Laboratory, the South African National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) laboratory. To date, all samples have tested negative for COVID-19.
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 COVID19 tests but was confirmed dead on arrival. Her COVID19 test subsequently came back negative.
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. Some of the measures include:
- Inter-ministerial update and coordination meetings convened. The latest was on 2 March 2020
- Training of Health Care Workers with technical support from WHO. Trained Trainers are
cascading the training to all provinces and districts level.
- Dedicated locations for isolation have been identified throughout the country. Work is in progress to strengthen these locations
- Test kits for COVID19 have been procured and some received as donations from partners such as WHO, Africa CDC, DFID and the Chinese government.
- All hospitals have been put on high alert for COVID19.
As part of government’s efforts to strengthen Zimbabwe’s fight against the spread of COVID19, the Ministry of Health and Child Care continues to be guided by and follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and advice on surveillance, follow up and case management.
The ministry would like to advise the public to be guided by its COVID19 Situation Reports (SitReps) that are issued frequently to avoid being misled by unofficial reports. The Ministry SitReps provide accurate and detailed COVID19 updates for all.
The Ministry would once again like to advise the public to exercise good personal hygiene (frequent washing of hands with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing etc). This is one of the best prevention measures for COVID19.