FULL TEXT: Ministry Of Health COVID-19 Update -27 May 2020

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has reported that as of 27 MAY 2020 (today), Zimbabwe had 132 officially confirmed coronavirus cases.

Opposed to an earlier report by the Minister of Information, Senator Mutsvangwa that 76 new cases had been recorded, the Ministry of Health’s statement suggests that 64 tested positive for the virus today.

Also contrary to Mutsvangwa’s report that only one from the new cases was local, the Ministry of Health says 3 were local.

We present the statement in full below.

• We report the results of PCR tests conducted using the GeneXpert machines which were done over the past four days which had not been included in the situation report as we awaited confirmation of the results from the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory. This confirmation was required because of the unusual surge of positive tests after the introduction of the cartridge-based nucleic acid PCR (GeneXpert).

• For Quality Assurance purposes, environmental sampling, inter-lab comparability and resampling of patients was done.

o Environmental sampling (swabbing of the laboratory) was conducted to rule out any possible laboratory contamination. This was carried out due to the surge in positive samples after the introduction of GeneXpert testing in all the provinces. There was no contamination identified.

o Inter-lab comparability: The same positive specimens were sent to other labs in the country mainly National Microbiology Reference Laboratory & National Virology Reference Laboratory to check for concordance and there was 100% concordance

o Resampling of Patients: A sample of the positive cohort was resampled and retested and the results were in agreement with the initial results

• On the 23’d of May a total of 186 PCR tests were done and 12 were positive for COVID-19 from Masvingo.

• On the 25th of May a total of 404 PCR tests were conducted and 64 tested positive for COVID-19 (Harare-35, Masvingo -12, Mat North -1, Mat South -13 and Bulawayo-3). Sixty-one (61) cases were returning residents who were in quarantine centres and the three (3) were local.

• The cumulative number of tests done to date is 38 656 (22 402 ROT and 16 254 PCR).

• To date the total number of confirmed cases is 132; recovered 25, active cases 103 and 4 deaths, since the onset of the outbreak on 20 March 2020.

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