A pregnant Hwange woman recently lost her job and has become homeless with her two minor children after being abandoned by her family because she tested positive for COVID-19.
The woman and her children, aged six and nine, were picked from the streets by an ambulance on Monday night and are now housed at an isolation centre in the coal-mining town.
The Chronicle cited sources as saying the woman (who cannot be identified for ethical reasons), tested COVID-19 positive upon visiting Lukosi Hospital in Hwange to receive prenatal care.
She worked as a housemaid in Baobab low-density suburb but her employer was the first to kick her out.
The woman moved to her mother’s home in Mpumalanga DRC section where she was also chased away.
Her live-in boyfriend’s who resides in Mpumalanga suburb also sent her packing when she sought refuge at his home.
Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Musinami confirmed the case. He said:
We got a report that one patient that had been diagnosed COVID-19-positive had been chased away from where she stays.
We managed to pick her up and have accommodated her at Five Miles Isolation Centre with her two children who are COVID-19 negative.
In terms of being isolated with her kids, it’s not really a big problem because we have enough room so that they may not cross-contaminate each other while they are at File Miles.
But obviously on humanitarian grounds, for someone to then be out on the street in the middle of the night with her children while also pregnant, it’s not a good situation. It’s cold and uncomfortable. That was not a good situation for her.
Yes, she might be getting medical care during her pregnancy but family support would have been good at this time. She does not have severe symptoms.
Dr Musinami said they are educating community members not to stigmatise people with COVID-19 but to continue practising WHO precautions to curb the spread of the disease.