Bulawayo still has 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 contrary to an announcement, Thursday, that the city had recorded another case.
In its April 23 update, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, said that of the 101 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR machine) tests done in Bulawayo on April 22, one was positive for COVID-19 bringing all the confirmed cases in the country to 29.
However, it has since emerged that an error was made in recording the results as Bulawayo still has 10 cases and 28 nationally in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with CITE, Acting Provincial Medical Director for Bulawayo, Dr Welcome Mlilo acknowledged that the city had erred in recording 11 cases, as the laboratory had noted one sample was inconclusive.
“When we ran the samples, there was one that was reported positive but the laboratory had said it was inconclusive. We made the mistake of giving that information to the Ministry (of Health and Child Care) when the final results came in, all the samples tested negative. As it stands Bulawayo still has 10 cases, not 11,” he explained.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care later released an updated update noting the disparity, reporting that the erred 11th case was not from a new test but a re-test.
“The Ministry would like to report that of the 101 PCR tests done in Bulawayo which had a pending result on 22 April, 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.
The health ministry also noted that as of April 23, 2020 a total of 460 tests were done, giving a total of 5 450 screening and diagnostic COVID-19 tests done to date in the country.
Meanwhile, Dr Mlilo said all the nine patients in Bulawayo who were positive for COVID-19, were stable, and “considered well” at their homes.
“They are given medication, as they are reviewed and managed as per their case files,” he said.
The acting PMD, also confirmed Patient Number 16 who had been admitted at Thorngrove was discharged and sent back to her family.
“She was discharged since all her contacts that is family members had contacted the virus as well. We also don’t have a lot of resources, so it was deemed safe for her to go back to her home. We do keep checks on all patients to follow progress,” he said
As to how the Bulawayo patients were surviving food-wise, Dr Mlilo said they had received some food donations but would have to compile more information on that.
Dr Mlilo also revealed that all residents of Qalisa Retirement village, where Ian Hyslop, the second Zimbabwean to die from COVID-19 lived, tested negative.