There was panic at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Thursday, when a woman checked in with flu symptoms that seemed to match those of the fast-spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Sources at the hospital indicated that the woman who was accompanied by her partner had reportedly come into contact with a visitor from South Africa who is believed to be of Italian origin.
The couple is alleged to have been referred to Thorngrove Isolation Hospital for further tests.
However, the hospital authorities dismissed claims that they were handling a Coronavirus case insisting the patient had a bout of flu.
In an interview with CITE, UBH Chief Executive Officer, Nonhlanhla Ndlovu, confirmed receiving a female patient who had flu but the hospital conducted all system protocols and followed the necessary health guidelines on the suspected patient.
“There was a lady who came in with flu, which presents itself as symptoms of coronavirus but we took all the necessary precautions to confirm it was not. We looked at her history of travel and other factors and established the patient could not have the virus,” she said.
The UBH CEO said the hospital also called officials from the city’s health department, who run the Thorngrove Isolation who also ruled out she had COVID-19.
“This was a normal case and together with the city’s health department, we followed and did all the protocols and we ruled out she suffered from the virus. The patient was not referred to Thorngrove Isolation Unit but was managed at the hospital,” Ndlovu noted.
Her sentiments were shared by the hospital’s clinical director, Dr Narcisious Dzwanga, who dismissed claims of COVID-19.
“We are managing the case like everybody else, there is no case of corona here,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Ministry of Health and Child Care, Public Relations Officer, Donald Mujiri said he was unaware of the incident.
“Let me call the CEO for information,” he said.
So far Zimbabwe has no confirmed case of COVID-19 although some have questioned the country’s ability to deal with the pandemic, should there be an outbreak at a time when the country`s health system has collapsed.