WILKINS Infectious Hospital is still closed almost a week after the institution was shut down following an Ebola scare.

Harare City Council Director of Health Services, Dr Prosper Chonzi, said they were still waiting for samples they sent to South Africa before they make a decision.

He added they want to make sure that the patient from DRC who triggered the closure was not suffering from Ebola.

"We sent the samples (to South Africa) and it's just the result that we are waiting for. We just want to discharge the patient first before we could open it to the public. This is after we receive the sample back from South Africa so that we can satisfy ourselves although we are convinced that it's not Ebola," Dr Chonzi said

The director of epidemiology and disease control in the Ministry of Health, Dr Portia Manangazira, said the "patient is responding well to malaria treatment and doctors at Wilkins are thinking of discharging her".

However, Manangazira could not shed light why the hospital is still closed to members of the public.
Five days ago the Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa told reporters that the patient had no Ebola.

"The patient came to Parirenyatwa Hospital with fever, and high temperature; she was vomiting and bleeding, but our doctors did malaria tests and she was positive, so she has malaria," Dr Parirenyatwa said then.

After the closure most patients were referred to other clinics.

Dr Parirenyatwa said the government had sent specimens to South Africa to test the effectiveness of its system, in the event of an outbreak of the disease.

The government is saying it is well prepared and on high alert for Ebola following outbreaks in West Africa where it has claimed over 3 000 lives mostly in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The Zimbabwe government and southern African countries have also increased their surveillance programmes at ports of entries.

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