Government is tracking all people who had contact with a United Kingdom tourist who visited Victoria Falls and later tested positive to coronavirus on her return back home.
Addressing a press briefing yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo said the woman developed respiratory symptoms while in Victoria Falls before being referred to a local hospital as a suspected case of covid-19.
“Today, we received a report that a tourist who came to Victoria Falls on March 7 and departed on March 10 back to the United Kingdom has been found positive for Covid-19 and is currently being treated in the United Kingdom,” Moyo told a press conference in the capital Harare.
Moyo said an assessment on the UK woman by the Rapid Response Team on admission to the Vic Falls Hospital revealed that she did not meet the WHO definition of a suspected case and therefore was not tested for coronavirus.
The woman was instead managed as a case of pneumonia, recovered and departed for Kruger National Park in South Africa and proceeded back to the UK.
Upon return to the UK, she tested positive for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said the incident demonstrated the country’s lack of preparedness to tackle the global pandemic, which had killed over 7,171 people and infected at least 182,652 by Tuesday.
“The World Health Organisation has just been saying today that we continue to fight whilst blindfolded. If you don’t test, you won’t know. Zimbabwe is simply not testing enough,” said Norman Matara, ZADHR secretary.
Zimbabwe has yet to confirm any Covid-19 cases and government claims it is putting its house in order to be better prepared in case of confirmed cases.
The government has also set aside Wilkins and Thorngrove hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo respectively as national quarantine centres with a joint holding capacity of 55.