Coronavirus: How many cases out there as case number 10 is reported by neighbours?

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THE latest and tenth COVID-19 positive case Zimbabwe recorded on Monday has exposed the challenges that the government faces in identifying candidates requiring testing, writes Nigel Pfunde.

This follows revelations that the latest case was not voluntarily tested but rather the exercise was conducted only after the Rapid Response team acted on a tip off (possibly from neighbours) and assessed the whole family.
This development gives rise to high possibility that there is a ‘black hole’ of COVID-19 positive cases within our midst.
The 24-year old Harare woman travelled from the United Kingdom two weeks ago, and it could not be immediately established whether she had began exhibiting symptoms of the disease- she was however within the incubation period.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care on Monday evening, the lady is in a “clinically stable condition.”
“The tenth patient is a 24-year old female residing in Harare. She arrived from UK two weeks ago.
“The local Rapid Response team visited her house after receiving an alert call to assess the family.
“Samples for COVID-19 testing were taken, she is clinically stable and self-isolating at home,” read part of the statement.
The other nine cases are also self-isolating at home under close supervision of health workers.
The Ministry also revealed that contact tracing is in progress.
“Geospatial systems are being utilised to manage all known contacts of these cases for active contact tracing,” the health minister Obadiah Moyo said.
There has been debate as to whether government must conduct door to door testing like what was proposed in neighbouring South Africa.
Divergent views have been put forward with some sectors arguing that the country does not have the capacity to embark on such an exercise.
Health journalist and publisher of Health Times, Michael Gwarisa, decried the low number of tested cases in the country.
“South Africa is testing a total of 3000 samples per day for Covid-19. Zim yesterday tested 13 samples. Funny thing is just like SA we are observing 21 Days of lockdown,” he said.
” There is a high possibility that even after 21 days, we won’t be out of harm’s way. Unless God decides to save us or a miracle happens, we risk getting infected even after lockdown unless government and stakeholders do something to improve on testing,” added Gwarisa.

UK PM Boris Johnson admitted in ICU


However, some health experts believe that we must have home grown solutions and not just ‘follow the global reaction trends’
“I don’t see any reason of testing everyone, we have a, case definition to guide us. We are not an epicenter after all, we have since locked the borders save for returning residents who are well screened for Covid, let’s be realistic guys,” submitted a medical expert Forward Nyanyiwa.

To date, 361 people have been tested and 351 negative with one fatality in the person of television personality Zororo Makamba
Meanwhile, UK premier Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care of ST Thomas hospital late Monday , after Coronavirus symptoms worsened.
The secretary of state Dominic Raab is deputising him and has taken over the superintending of government business.

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