By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE City of Bulawayo has so far dealt with 223 suspected cases of COVID-19, although confirmed cases remain on 12.
Zimbabwe recorded its first confirmed case in March after a Victoria Falls resident who had travelled to the United Kingdom tested positive for the global pandemic.
The second victim was journalist Zororo Makamba, who had also travelled to the United States of America, and later became the country’s first of the current four recorded deaths.
According to Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni’s COVID-19 weekly situational report, the city has so far recorded 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death.
“The Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have followed up a total of 223 scares consisting people complaining of COVID-19 related epidemiological link, signs and symptoms.
“The RRTs have submitted a total of 661 specimens of people that fit the case definition to laboratories for Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PT-PCR) tests to detect the virus,” said Mguni.
The mayor also revealed the city has recorded an increase in the number of acute respiratory illnesses.
“In Indicator Based Surveillance, the District Health Information Systems (DHIS2) shows that there is an increase in the number of Acute Respiratory Illnesses (ARI) cases month on month as well as in 2020 comparing to 2019, particularly the moderate and severe types.
“In Event Based Surveillance, the seven RRTs activated on 27 February 2020 have been following up rumours of possible suspected cases of COVID-19 since then,” he said.
The mayor also revealed that currently, Bulawayo was hosting 700 Zimbabwe returnees at the city’s two quarantine facilities.
The isolation facilities are United College of Education (UCE) which houses female deportees while Bulawayo Technical College accommodates males.
“Deportees that have more recently come into the country are now placed in mandatory quarantine facilities. UCE has received 278 females and 50 children to date while Bulawayo Polytechnic has received 356 males,” he said.
Mguni said hygiene conditions at the facilities were monitored on daily basis.
He added that Jairos Jiri Centre was also housing 30 male street children who were recently rounded up and removed from the streets.
During the period under review, the city received a total number of people who came into the city through various ports of entry.
“Of these, at least 1693 (95.4%) travellers have since been followed up by teams in Bulawayo,” said the mayor.