Panic as Covid-19 suspect dies

Panic as Covid-19 suspect dies

A health worker screens and sanitises visitors to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside a hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe March 26, 2020. (Credit: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters)

Villagers in Makakhavhule in Beitbridge’s Ward 6 are in panic mode after a 51-year-old man who illegally returned from South Africa reportedly died of suspected Covid-19.

The local Covid-19 Task Force is conducting investigations into the case.

It is reported that the man returned from Musina in South Africa through an illegal entry point along the Limpopo River.

The place is near the now-liquidated River Ranch Diamond Mine.

A source close to the case said the man returned on Thursday.

“He arrived around 9 pm and was ferried from the crossing point with eight other border jumpers by a local transporter,” said the source.

“Upon arrival at his house at Makakhavhule Primary school, he started complaining of chest pains. His relative notified health authorities who found him already dead.

“The matter was referred to the Covid-19 Task-Force for further management.”

Beitbridge District Civil Protection Unit chairperson, Mrs Sikhangazile Mafu-Moyo who also leads the local Covid-19 Task-Force said the matter was now under investigation.

“Yes, we received such a report and officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care are seized with investigations into that death,” she said.

Chronicle is reliably informed that authorities are now tracing the man’s contacts who also reside in the same village.

The incident came a few days after two brothers who tested positive for the novel coronavirus escaped from isolation in Beitbridge and went to Madaulo village in the same district where they infected eight minors below 15 years.

The smuggling of people and goods has drastically increased along the Zimbabwe and South Africa’s borderline after the only land border, Beitbridge, was closed to non-essential human traffic to contain the spread of the condition.

However, many people avoiding quarantine are now suspected to be spreading the disease through illegal crossing points including River Ranch, Tshivhara, Panda Mine, Mai Maria, Gate 2, and Musetshe area. Recently, local infections surpassed imported ones.

Health authorities have warned that it is an indication that there are many unconfirmed infections in communities and if people do not adhere to national Covid-19 prevention guidelines, there might be an alarming jump in recorded new infections.

The guidelines include social distancing, regular hand washing, sanitising of frequently touched surfaces, staying at home, wearing masks and avoiding crowds. The Chronicle