By Andile Tshuma/Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu
More Covid-19 cases have been reported at Mpilo Central Hospital after a nurse and three patients tested positive last week.
Mpilo Central Hospital Clinical Director and Acting CEO Dr Solwayo Ngwenya on Friday could not disclose the number of new Covid-19 infections at the hospital but confirmed that the number has gone up.
He expressed concern at the reckless behaviour of some Bulawayo residents who conduct themselves in a manner that does not depict that the country is in a health crisis.
The country is under national lockdown as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
However, some people continue to defy lockdown measures by failing to observe social distancing, drinking beer in groups and gathering for church services.
“We do have new cases at the hospital and the figures have changed but am not at liberty to disclose anything at the moment.
“All I can say is that the behaviour of people in the city is worrying. It is as if all is normal. If you look at the human and vehicular traffic on our streets, you will be shocked.
“You would think we are now free of Covid-19. People are still gallivanting, you find people drinking in groups and engaging in all sorts of social activities,’ said Dr Ngwenya.
He said people might evade arrest but remain at risk of contracting the virus or spreading it.
“We have issued warnings but they seem to be falling on deaf ears. People think they can survive the pandemic yet some have underlying health conditions and therefore vulnerable.
“Beating this Covid-19 and flattening the curve will be impossible if people continue to conduct themselves in such a manner,” he said.
The Covid-19 cases had risen to 174 by Saturday and Bulawayo had 18 cases.
Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director Dr Welcome Mlilo could neither confirm nor deny that cases at Mpilo Central Hospital had increased saying he was busy working with his superiors in the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the matter.
Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni also expressed concern at the rise in Covid-19 cases in the city.
He urged members of the public to adhere to lockdown regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
“There are many socio-economic issues that make it difficult for people to stay at home but our appeal as the city is when possible we should stay at home.
“During the week we have observed the re-emergence of unauthorised informal trading, which has resulted in congestion in certain areas of the Central Business District.
“This is of great concern and my council is seized with the matter,” said Clr Mguni when he received a donation of 20 hospitals beds and masks for Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The beds and masks were donated by an organisation called Ezra Tshisa Sibanda Initiative.
The organisation was represented by Dr Ngwenya a friend of Sibanda who said the donation was timely as Covid-19 admissions are likely to rise soon.
“It is unfortunate that the nation woke up to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and this means there is no time to throw caution to the wind.
“While Bulawayo has few cases, there is concern that we have active local transmissions and we should therefore continue to maintain social distancing, wash hands regularly and avoid unnecessary travelling. Let us remain vigilant and compliant to Covid-19 protocols,” said Clr Mguni. The Chronicle