A second suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) patient is under isolation in a hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe media reported.
State-owned daily newspaper The Herald reported that authorities picked up the patient, who had travelled from China’s Hunan province, upon arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after the passenger displayed symptoms of the respiratory disease.
The first suspected case in Zimbabwe involved a 27-year-old Harare woman who was suspected to have contracted the disease after visiting Wuhan, where the disease originated in December.
She tested negative for the virus, but the private-owned NewsDay newspaper reported on Friday that the woman had been re-admitted at the Wilkins Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
It cited a statement from the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals which stated that the move followed continuous consultations with the City of Harare.
“The two parties eventually resolved that the patient should be referred back to Wilkins Hospitals, where she is currently admitted for comprehensive evaluation and treatment,” the hospital group said.
“The City of Harare, which isolated and facilitated tests on the patient, indicated that the patient had tested negative three times. The first test was done in China, the second in Zimbabwe and the third was done in South Africa.”
NewsDay quoted Harare city health director Prosper Chonzi as saying there was no need for citizens to panic.
“We did our test and her results were negative. We discharged her and put her under surveillance until yesterday when she tried to commit suicide. She took an overdose of amoxicillin and we took it upon ourselves to assist her, took her to the nearest hospital which is Parirenyatwa for assessment,” Chonzi said.
“We are clear that she is coronavirus-free. Right now, she is at Wilkins and we are managing her just like any other patient. We are also doing full infection screening.”
A situation report on COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation said there were now 85,403 confirmed cases of the disease globally as of February 29.
China alone has recorded 79,394 confirmed cases, with 2,838 deaths, while 53 other countries have accounted for 6,009 confirmed cases with 86 deaths.