By Everson Mushava
A 27-YEAR-OLD Harare woman suspected to have contracted coronavirus after she visited Wuhan, China, has been readmitted at the Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital, raising fears authorities could have prematurely discharged her.
The woman was discharged last week after testing negative to the deadly virus, which has so far killed over 2 800 people in China and threatens to become a global pandemic.
In a statement on Thursday, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals confirmed that the patient was readmitted at Wilkins Hospitals, where she was referred back for re-quarantining as well as evaluation and treatment.
The statement did not disclose why it recommended the patient to be quarantined, but only confirmed that she was attended to by a psychiatrist in the casualty department.
“Since consultations with the City of Harare were continuous throughout the process, 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,” part of the statement read.
“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.”
The statement triggered social media frenzy, with some people questioning the country’s preparedness to handle the killer virus, amid reports that the patient was readmitted after her condition deteriorated.
In China, there are claims some people test negative about five times before eventually testing positive, raising fears Zimbabwe could have prematurely released the first suspected case before conducting thorough checks.
But Harare city health director Prosper Chonzi yesterday insisted that there was no need for citizens to panic as the suspect’s specimens had tested negative in three different tests.
“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,” he 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 and there is no need for the public to panic.”
Africa has recorded two confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in Nigeria and Algeria, with both cases being Italian citizens.