Eighteen (18) COVID-19 vaccination cards went missing from Hwange’s St Patrick’s hospital on Thursday.
The 18 cards, serial number 00211779-96, were stolen from a batch that was given under the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
According to Matabeleland North police spokesperson, Inspector Glory Banda, though no arrest had been made, investigations were ongoing. He said:
I can confirm that some vaccination cards were stolen from St Patrick’s hospital in Hwange and the matter is still under investigations.
No arrests have been made yet and we are appealing to the public to assist with information that can lead to the arrest of the criminals and recovery of cards.
He said on 18 August at around 07:30 am, Tatenda Maposa, a nurse at the hospital, who was on duty at the Family Child Health Care department, was given a sealed batch with 243 COVID-19 vaccination cards serial numbers 00211758-2000. Added Insp Banda:
She issued the vaccination cards up to serial number 00211778 and left the vaccination room to attend to a patient at the Antenatal clinic around 1400hrs.
She left the door and window opened with the Covid-19 vaccination cards, serial number 00211779-00212000 on top of the table.
On the same day at around 1430hrs she returned and discovered that 18 Covid-19 vaccination cards, serial number 00211779-96 were missing.
She immediately informed her matron, Ms S. Ncube and a report was made to ZRP Hwange. Police attended the scene and no arrest were made.
The stolen cards constitute government property and nothing was recovered.
Indications are that the culprits intend to sell the cards to some members of the public who have been shunning vaccination on religious grounds and conspiracy theories.
The government recently allowed churches to resume in-person services but only for fully vaccinated congregants.
In addition, restaurants can allow fully vaccinated customers to sit in for meals.