Zimbabwe has recorded its second COVID-19 death following the death of a 79-year old Bulawayo man. The man died on Saturday, 4 April.
At the time of his death, however, his test COVID-19 status was yet to be known. His test results came out today, 7 April 2020, confirming he was positive.
He was the 11th confimed COVID-19 patient in Zimbabwe.
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In its coronavirus (COVID-19) update on 7 April 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care revealed the details.
The statement by the Health Ministry reads:
Ministry of Health and Child Care CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: 07 APRIL 2020
The Ministry would like to report that today, the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) tested 21 samples. One of these, tested positive for COVID-19 bringing to eleven the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to date. However, this eleventh case passed away in hospital on Saturday 4th April 2020.
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. At the time of admission, he had presented with 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 14. to le March 2020. He was therefore admitted for clinical management as a case of bacterial Pneumonia with an underlying comorbidity.
His condition deteriorated during the evening of 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 NMRL for COVID-19 testing. Whilst waiting for the COVID-I9 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 April, his condition continued to deteriorate despite management in ICU until he deceased.
Contact tracing for the above case is in progress and the Ministry continues to be on HIGH alert to the COVID-I9 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Ministry would like to remind the nation that, the most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-I9 are to practise good personal hygiene and social distancing.
For assistance, please call the COVID-I9 toll free hotline number: 2019.
Following the release of the ministry’s statement, The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors For Human Rights (ZADHR) has demanded an investigation into the circumstances leading to the man’s death.