- Zim has only one coronavirus testing machine
- Suspected case can exhibit symptoms after 21 days
- Results being sent to South Africa for confirmation
FORMER Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA) Anele Bhebhe on Monday warned that the country could be having many of its citizens unaware of their Covid-19 status as the disease has the capacity to hibernate and not immediately manifest.
In an exclusive interview with Zim Morning Post, Bhebhe said Zimbabweans stood at risk of contracting Covid-19 without being aware as symptoms of the virus only become manifest after 21 days, with the only sign of infection being when the infected person infects others.
“Covid-19 symptoms appear 21 days after exposure to it, and a person can still be infected by it if they come in contact with a person without the symptoms”, he said.
“So, a person can be infected by Covid-19 even if they are without any symptoms up until 21 days,” he explained.
Information gathered by this publication revealed that Zimbabwe is in possession of only one testing Covid-19 machine at Wilkins Hospital, which reportedly produces results after five hours.
“Once samples are taken and tested the results are then sent to South Africa for confirmation,” Bhebhe said.
South Africa is host to regional laboratories where the Zimbabwe government is sending coronavirus tests for confirmation.
There are reportedly already four suspected coronavirus cases in the country which government says have all tested negative.
A Chinese woman, however, recently died amid symptoms of suspected Covid-19.
Another male Covid-19 patient is currently quarantined at an unnamed medical facility after he recently reportedly visited Italy, but tests on him have confirmed he does not carry Covid-19 in his body.
Meanwhile, a Chinese national is said to have died upon being admitted at Wilkins Hospital, but government has not issued any statement with regards to the cause of death.
South Africa recently recorded three cases of Covid-19, with one being of a 38-year-old man who had visited Italy, his wife and another person, all who have tested positive to the virus.
It is reported that the man, his wife and eight others, had visited Italy and currently seven out of the ten are quarantined but with no symptoms.
As the virus rocks havoc churches and civic organisatons have also come out in full force asking government to be truthful in informing the public.
Outspoken general secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Reverend Kennedy Mtata this week weighed in with ideas on mitigating potential coronavirus disaster in Zimbabwe.
Mtata said there is need for “truthful communication from government, transparency in reporting the suspected cases, impose decisive migration policies, establishing of a competent and properly equiped unit as well ass asking for international help where government has limitations.”