Talent Gore Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwean woman who was quarantined for tests for coronavirus (Covid-19) at Wilkins Hospital in Harare was yesterday discharged a few hours after testing negative.
The 27-year-old woman, was in Wuhan, the epicentre of Covid-19, and passed through Guangzhou before she came to Zimbabwe.
Said City Health director Dr Prosper Chonzi: “We admitted this patient two days ago for a suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. We placed her under isolation because that is what is required for us to do if one is suspected to be carrying the virus and we isolated her at Wilkins Hospital,” he said.
“The reason for admission was that she had a positive history of travel. She has done very well and we have since done the PCR tests for coronavirus.
“It has turned out to be negative and we are happy with the clinical health of the patient and we have since decided to discharge her today and follow up on her for the next 21 days to see if she develops any kind of fever or symptoms of Covid-19.”
Dr Chonzi said the woman showed neither signs nor symptoms of the virus and having tested negative there was no reason to keep her in hospital any longer.
“When she was admitted, she was not symptomatic; she had no cough, no high temperature and no signs of respiratory distress. We doubt very much that she will develop any kind of symptoms.
“There is no need for us to isolate her because she has no symptoms of the virus and the tests turned out negative. Normally, patients who pass on the infection will be symptomatic so for her we cannot keep her because she does not have a runny nose, she is not coughing or sneezing. So we don’t expect her to pass on the infection when is not symptomatic.”
Dr Chonzi said the woman will be placed under strict self-quarantine and surveillance for the next 21 days.
He said Wilkins Hospital will start operating normally next week.
“We had moved our patients to Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospitals and the moment patients will be treated there, Wilkins Hospital will start functioning normally on Monday,” Dr Chonzi said.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said the Government was tightening security along the country’s ports of entry to prevent illegal crossing by people who may spread Covid-19.
He made this remarks while addressing parliamentarians who had asked on the state of the country’s preparedness towards Covid-19.
“We had a suspected case of coronavirus and it tested negative. In order to protect our nation, the candidate had to be isolated immediately. To me, this shows that our system is working well and is a sign of good preparedness,” he said.
“I can safely confirm that the Zimbabwean traveller was identified through our surveillance system at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport having noted that she had been to the epicentre of this coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.”