Zimbabwean health workers wear protective suits during a training exercise aimed at preparing workers to deal with any potential coronavirus cases at a hospital in Harare. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)
Zimbabwean health workers wear protective suits during a training exercise aimed at preparing workers to deal with any potential coronavirus cases at a hospital in Harare. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Thai man who escaped Covid-19 tests in Zimbabwe was 'coughing and sneezing'

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Mar 10, 2020

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Pretoria – The Thai national who escaped from a hospital in Zimbabwe before being tested for Covid-19 disease was coughing mainly at night, had a fever and was sneezing, the health and child care ministry has said. 

In a communique seen by African News Agency, the ministry said a police report had been filed and authorities had searched for the 26-year-old-man at the home address he provided to the hospital. 

“The latest case referred to the Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital as a suspected case is that of a 26-year-old man who came into Zimbabwe on the 14th of February from Thailand," the statement said.

"He presented at Wilkins Hospital on the 8th of March – more than 14 days after arriving from Thailand – as a referral from a private institution where he had reported a two-day history of cough, fever and sneezing."

“On admission to Wilkins, he did not meet the World Health Organisation case definition of a suspected case but was still earmarked for a Covid-19 test due to the intensified surveillance that the country has adopted," the statement added.

Health authorities in Harare said the man was screened but absconded before testing was done. 

Zimbabwe has so far not had a confirmed case of Covid-19.

In neighbouring South Africa, health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on national television on Monday that four more people, all from KwaZulu-Natal province, had tested positive for the disease, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to seven.

All were part of a group of ten people who visited Italy recently.

Mkhize said all had been quarantined and the health department was awaiting test results for the rest of the group members.

African News Agency/ANA

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