Zimbabwe: Doctors Tell Govt to Review Case Definition for COVID-19 Suspects

10 April 2020

Medical doctors have urged government to take the lives of Zimbabweans seriously by putting more effort to combat COVID-19 and review the case definition of the global pandemic.

In a press statement released yesterday, Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said the second death of a Bulawayo man exposed government's minimal focus on regions outside Harare.

"ZADHR calls for an urgent audit of the circumstances leading to the death of the 11th patient diagnosed with COVID-19," reads the statement.

The doctors expressed worry about the exposure of doctors who are handling COVID-19 suspects in private and public facilities without Personal Protective Equipment.

"It took five days to get results of the COVID-19 test a period which is rather too long. The absence of diagnostic facilities for coronavirus is brings to question the state of preparedness of centres outside Harare," read the statement.

In a report by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the deceased Bulawayo patient was treated at local hospitals and not at infectious disease hospital as prescribed.

"This therefore threatens the lives of not only patients but also health workers who handled the patient without knowledge of what they were dealing with.

"Case definition needs to be reviewed for suspects for COVID-19. The patient was first seen on the 23rd of March and was not advised to self-quarantine or told to get tested for COVID-19 as he had non travel history," the doctors further noted.

According to the Health ministry, the patient travelled to Hwange resort area and also received a visitor from UK few days past.

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