- Zim in danger of walking into COVID-19 minefield
- Frontline doctors say thousands could be unknowingly infected
- Case number 15 is evidence of community or local transmission
COVID-19 in Zimbabwe has now reached the most critical stage, with hard questions now being asked on the extent of localised or community transmissions in the country, Zim Morning Post can report.
In its latest release Monday, the Ministry of Health said out of the 604 tests conducted for the coronavirus so far, 587 citizens had been confirmed negative and 17 positive, while three people have so far died from the pandemic.
Following Zimbabwe’s first COVID-19 death – that of Zororo Makamba who had a travel history to the United States- the traceability of infections is now beginning to confound medical experts.
Local frontline doctors have cited the case of COVID-19 infected number 15 patient to illustrate the case against the notion of all coronavirus cases in the country as being imported.
“The case of COVID-19 patient is an eye opener in Zimbabwe,” said a local frontline doctor who could not be named for professional reasons.
“This patient has no history travel. Also, she has had no contact with an infected person,” the doctor added.
Medical experts interviewed by Zim Morning Post said complexities such as of patient 15 have given rise to speculation that there could be many in Zimbabwe unknowingly infected with the virus and are moving around.
“There could be hundreds or even thousands of Zimbabweans who, without knowledge, are being infected and infecting others,” said one frontline doctor.
The doctor said it could be that many in the country were infected but still in the incubation stage, with the virus still undetectable.
“At this stage, it will be helpful to keep high hygienic standards and maintain social distancing,” he added.
The frontline doctor said the next few days nearing the expiry of the lockdown period in Zimbabwe would be important, with many hibernating COVID-19 cases likely to come out in the open.
Healthcare experts have also urged government and the private sector to increase COVID-19 tests, including collating their data in order to ascertain the extent of COVID-19 impact in the country.