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UK based Zim nurse loses fight to coronavirus after spending 21 days on ventilator

By Staff Reporter

A United Kingdom based retired Zimbabwean nurse has died of coronavirus after spending 21 days fighting for her life on a ventilator.

The sad news of Rachel Makombe-Chokanda’s death aged 67 at Royal London Hospital on Friday was broken on social media by close associates.

Makombe-Chikanda was among retired medical staff who were invited back to work by the British government to assist an overwhelmed NHS staff fight the Covid-19 surge in that country.

She sadly contracted the disease in the line of duty.

She is another sad statistic to a fast-rising number of Zimbabwean health professionals who migrated to the UK in the last two decades to join the rewarding British health sector.

The country’s embassy to Britain reported over a week ago that at least 29 Zimbabweans based in the former colonial master had died of the world pandemic.

The UK is one of the world countries worst hit by the pandemic.

Covid-19 deaths on Zimbabweans outside the country have come with added grief among relatives back home who do not get a chance to bury their loved ones because of current travel restrictions among countries and the tough world measures imposed on burials involving such deaths.

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Govt revises Covid-19 confirmed cases from 40 down to 34, admits mistake

By Health Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S confirmed cases of coronavirus have mysteriously fallen from 40 to 34 with authorities admitting erring in hiking the number this week.

In its latest update of the Covid-19 situation in the country, the country’s health ministry said the six cases reported as having been positive for the virus in Harare during the week, were in fact negative.

“The Ministry would like to report the results of the Quality Assurance process instituted following an unusual clustering of six cases that were reported as positive from Harare on the 29th of April 2020 have confirmed all of them were negative for Covid-19,” the ministry said.

“Therefore, to date, Zimbabwe still has 34 confirmed Covid-19 cases and not forty as previously reported,” said the ministry.

The embarrassing mistake by the ministry comes amid doubts the country’s authorities were understating the real situation on the Covid-19 menace in the country due failure to conduct mass testing among citizens.

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Zimra official tests positive for Covid-19

By Health Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) reports that one of its employees based in Bulawayo has tested positive for Covid-19.

In a circular (check below) directed to staff of the tax collector, Zimra Commissioner General Faith Mazani said the employee is one of the two fresh cases of Covid-19 reported by the ministry of health in its latest update Wednesday.

“This is to advice that one of our staff members based in Bulawayo has tested positive for coronavirus, according to test results released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care today, April 29, 2020,” said the Zimra boss.

Zimbabwe now has 40 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

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Zim coronavirus cases shoot to 40

By Health Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S Covid-19 cases have shot to 40, after eight more infections were confirmed in Harare and Bulawayo Wednesday.

According to the latest Ministry of Health update on the Covid-19 situation in the country, Harare has recorded six more cases while Bulawayo has an addition of two.

“The Ministry would like to report that two of the PCR tests done in Bulawayo on the 28th of April 2020 were positive for Covid-19,” said the Health Ministry in its update.

“Today, a total of 355 tests were done as shown in table 1 below, giving a total of 7 642 screening and diagnostic tests done to date. All the PCR tests were done in Bulawayo today were negative for COVID-19. Of the PCR tests done in Bulawayo today, six were positive for COVID-19. More details on these cases would be given in tomorrow’s update.”

The ministry added, “Therefore, to date, Zimbabwe now has forty confirmed cases, including five recoveries and four deaths.”

In terms of provincial infections, Matabeleland North has 1, Bulawayo 12, Harare 19, Mashonaland East 5 and Mashonaland West 3.

The jump in the cases would be a worrying development for Zimbabwean authorities who have been battling to tame the scourge during the country’s five-week long lockdown period set to end this coming Sunday.

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Malaria patient at Parirenyatwa hospital tests positive for coronavirus

By Health Reporter

A male patient who has been admitted for malaria treatment at Parirenyatwa hospital in the last past four days has tested positive for Covid-19.

This was confirmed Tuesday by the government medical facility which said the patient has been quarantined in his own separate room.

Hospital staff and those who have came into contact with the patient have also been quarantined.

Said the hospital, “A Covid-19 positive case which had been admitted for management of slide positive malaria on 24 April, 2020 was identified at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals,” said the hospital in a statement.

“As management, we have since activated the Covid-19 Rapid Response Team and we are taking measures for continued isolation of the confirmed case in his private room while awaiting discharge formalities and recovery at home where he will be followed up on.

“Giving psychological support to the exposed staff which will be counselled, tested and managed accordingly. The Hospital ward will be decontaminated in accordance with national guidelines.”

The revelations could be a source of worry for authorities and Zimbabweans in general following a recent spike in malaria deaths as the country concentrated efforts towards combating the scourge of Covid-19.

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Families of UK based Zim nurse victims of Covid-19 set to receive US$74 000 compensation

By Health Reporter

FAMILIES of United Kingdom based Zimbabwean nurses and other health staff who have died of Covid-19 in the line of duty could receive £60,000 (74,568) in terms of compensation.

This is according to UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

“I feel a deep personal sense of duty that we must care for their loved ones,” Hancock said Monday.

“Today, I am able to announce that the Government is setting up a life assurance scheme for NHS and social care frontline colleagues. Families of staff who die from coronavirus in the course of their essential frontline work will receive a £60,000 payment.”

A big number of Zimbabwean health professionals left the country in the past two decades to join the NHS and the broader health sector in the UK.

UK is among world countries worst affected by the pandemic.

Nurses and other frontline staff in the fight against Covid-19 form the majority of UK based Zimbabweans who have succumbed to the dreaded disease.

The country’s embassy to Britain said last week 29 Zimbabweans had succumbed to the disease.

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Zimbabwean man dies of Covid-19 in the UK

By Health Reporter

YET another Zimbabwean based in the United Kingdom has died of coronavirus.

Popular broadcaster Ezra Tshisa Sibanda, who is also in the UK, broke the news on social media.

“We have lost yet another amazing Zimbabwean man Mello Maqena Zimvu to this evil disease Coronavirus in Rotherham, United Kingdom,” he said.

Sibanda described the late Zimvu as a “very funny character, very cheerful and a free spirit”.

Zimvu lived alone at the time of his death.

While back home, Zimbabwe could be counting itself lucky for having just 31 confirmed cases, among them being four deaths so far, the surging death toll on its citizens based in the UK is a worrying factor.

The country’s embassy to Britain last week reported at least 29 Zimbabweans had succumbed to the dreaded disease in that country at the time.

Most of the deaths were those of the country’s health expatriates who form frontline staff against a pandemic that has killed over 200 000 throughout the world.

Because of the touch laws regarding the handling and burial of Covid-19 victims, Zimbabweans back home have not had an opportunity to mourn their loved ones.

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Zim Covid-19 cases climb to 31

By Health Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S COVID-19 cases have risen to 31, with Mashonaland West province recording its first two cases of the pandemic.

This was revealed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in its latest update on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

The ministry said two of the cases were local transmissions in Mashonaland West.

“Of the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests done in Harare, three were positive for COVID-19 and all the PCR tests done in Bulawayo today (Saturday) were negative,” Health Ministry permanent secretary Agnes Mahomva reported.

“Two cases of the three cases confirmed today were due to local transmission. All three cases are stable, and not in hospital. More details on these to follow.”

According to provincial cases, Harare is highest with 13 confirmed cases with Bulawayo second, on 10.

Mashonaland East is on four while Mashonaland West has three.

Matabeleland North, the first province to record a Covid-19 case in the country, is still on one.

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Family demands second Covid-19 tests on ex-minister’s late mom, results come out positive

By Health Reporter

EX-Minister Sylvester Nguni and family demanded second tests on his deceased mother with results confirming earlier reports the 82-year-old died of Covid-19.

Gogo Nguni, as she has been referred to in local media, died of the pandemic while admitted at Harare’s upmarket West End Clinic. She became the country’s oldest Covid-19 patient and death victim.

Her death outside a Covid-19 designated health centre has ignited outrage among locals who felt she was deliberately taken there because her links to a politician, in the process, endangering the lives of staff and other patients.

The family argues, since the outbreak was confirmed in the country, she never came into contact with any Covid-19 positive person, prompting second polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which came out positive.

She lived with two house maids and two herders.

“Obviously someone brought the virus to Gogo and this is what we are trying to establish,” said principal director policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Robert Mudyiradima.

“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.”

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Govt revises Zim Covid-19 cases down from 29 to 28

By Health Reporter

GOVERMENT has reversed an earlier report the country’s confirmed COVID-19 had risen to 29.

In an earlier update on the country’s Covid-19 situation, the Ministry of Health reported the country’s Covid-19 cases had risen from 28 to 29.

However, hours later, authorities have been forced go back on the report.

“The Ministry would like to report that of the 101 PCR tests done in Bulawayo which had pending results of the 22nd April 2020, one was positive for COVID-19.

“However, the positive result was not for a new case but from a re-test of a case that has been reported previously.

“The re-test was conducted in line with WHO guidelines for confirming clinical recovery. Therefore, the positive result from Bulawayo was not for a new case,” said the ministry.

At things stand, the country still has 28 confirmed cases, among them, four deaths.

 

 

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