By Fiona Ruzha
Harare City Council yesterday admitted that the case of a 26-year-old Thai man who escaped at Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital on Sunday upon admission, was eye opening on gaps that needed to be addressed.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Thai man, who returned from his home country on February 14, was taken to Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital on Sunday after he had visited Avenues Clinic in Harare where he reported a two-day history of coughing, fever and sneezing.
Before any samples could be taken on him, the patient, who was accompanied by his father and two other men, sped off from the hospital.
However, on Tuesday he availed himself at the hospital and tests were conducted which came out negative.
Speaking during the tour by the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Health and Child Care at Wilkins hospital, City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said his escape gave them a few lessons on what they should do strengthen their sate of preparedness.
“This incident has given us insight on gaps that need to be addressed so that this will not happen again.
“We will now work on strengthening our security force and other things to make sure that when the virus comes in the country we are fully prepared,” he said.
Wilkins hospital has 35 beds.
Dr Chonzi said if there is an eventuality of an outbreak they will have to pitch tents.
He also said they hope to get US$2 million to complete a four story building at the facility.
“We are in need of money to complete our building which can be useful during this outbreak.
“World Bank partnered City Council and offered to construct the building however when the relations between the two parties turned sour, the building was left incomplete at roof level,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health and Child Care has reiterated that Zimbabwe has the capacity to test and confirm any suspected cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Nine African countries which include Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia have recorded cases of Covid-19 with one death in Egypt. H-Metro