MORE than 100 people in Gweru are under coronavirus surveillance and are being closely monitored by health experts to ascertain whether they contracted the disease while travelling outside the country.
This comes after officials also announced that 81 people who arrived in Bulawayo through the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport recently have also been placed under surveillance for Covid-19 (coronavirus). Speaking during a State of the City address last week, Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said there were 109 people who were under coronavirus surveillance after they were exposed to the disease when they travelled out of the country.
Clr Makombe said although no one has shown signs and symptoms of a possible infection, the city’s health department was monitoring the people as a precautionary measure.
“We are all aware that there have been reported cases of coronavirus in South Africa. Here in Gweru we have 109 people who were exposed and are under surveillance. We are not saying they are infected but we are saying they travelled out of the country and as a precautionary measure they have been put under surveillance. None of them has, however, shown signs and symptoms and some are now close to 21 days since they travelled. Our health department together with other health experts have been trained to deal with coronavirus cases,” he said.
However, Clr Makombe said Gweru does not have an isolation facility in case of an incident.
“As Gweru we do not have a facility where suspected cases can be treated or isolated. Once we detect a possible infection, we refer the patients to Bulawayo or Harare where there are better facilities. I want to warn residents particularly cross-border traders to be wary of the disease,” he said.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said Government has put in place mechanisms to deal with coronavirus in case of a recorded incident following reported cases in neighbouring South Africa and Namibia.
“We have placed our measures on both our ground and air ports of entry into the country,” he said.
The Government has already cancelled a high-level conference organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that was scheduled for Victoria Falls later this month as a precaution against the virus, while consultations are being done at Government level concerning the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair to be held in Bulawayo next month>chaosafrica