Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Second Covid-19 tests done on samples taken from the late Gogo Nguni have come out positive.
The second tests were necessitated by information from Gogo Nguni’s relatives who insisted that the now deceased person lived in a self-isolated homestead, never got in touch with anyone from Covid-19 hotspots and never left the country.
This information left her relatives wondering on the credibility of the initial results, thereby forcing health authorities to do a second round of the same polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Government has intensified contact tracing in Chitemere village under Mhondoro-Mubaira, where the late Gogo Nguni lived with two house maids and two herders before she was taken to Harare for treatment while Harare City Health department has also initiated a parallel process on her relatives in Harare, some of whom went to pick her for treatment.
“Obviously someone brought the virus to Gogo and this is what we are trying to establish. Our teams are already seized with the matter and we are hoping to have a clearer picture as soon as possible as contact tracing progresses both in Harare and Mhondoro,” said principal director policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Robert Mudyiradima.
Earlier, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo had told journalists during a press conference on Covid-19 update that Mhondoro-Mubaira had now become an area of interest.
“This has become an area of interest and therefore we are going to be hot-spotting by making sure that the population around there is screened. That is the only way we can make a determination on the source of Gogo’s infection,” said Dr Moyo.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa added that even the Mashonaland West provincial Covid-19 taskforce was going to visit the area for their own assessment, to try and understand circumstances surrounding transmission in that area.
“It is very sad that we lost our grandmother. As a member of the national taskforce, in charge of Mashonaland West and I have since engaged with the provincial taskforce, which is also seized with this matter.
“They told me that they are going to visit this area to make sure that it is disinfected and that people in this village are conscientised on the need to up their hygienic practices. Even the MP for the area was very worried and is equally seized with the matter,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Gogo Nguni, nee Chitemere passed on at West End Hospital on Wednesday morning becoming the fourth Covid-19 casualty in Zimbabwe.
Before receiving treatment at West End Hospital, Gogo Nguni had earlier experienced a bout of flu, from which antibiotics were prescribed and seemed to have gotten better.
Her condition deteriorated on Monday, forcing her relatives to take her to West End for treatment. She however died before receiving any treatment nor further investigation into her condition as authorities waited for Covid-19 results first, which then came out positive.
To date four people have died of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe. The other three were a 79-year old man from Bulawayo, who also died before receiving confirmatory results, a 50-year old man from Harare who had travelled from the United Kingdom and a 30-year old man from Harare who had also travelled from the United States of America.