THE Covid-19 death toll in Zimbabwe has risen to 25 following the death of a 36-year-old woman at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo amid reports that four positive cases are housed at the health institution.
Mpilo is not a designated Covid-19 health institution and so far, two people admitted there have succumbed to the pandemic.
Bulawayo has a cumulative of 11 deaths and 447 cases.
More than 197 health workers have been quarantined at Mpilo following the infection of a nurse in June.
An additional 14 nurses tested positive at Mpilo after the initial quarantine of the 197 who were in contact with the nurse.
Mpilo acting chief executive Professor Solwayo Ngwenya confirmed the death yesterday and warned members of the public against breaking lockdown conditions.
He said the virus had spread so much in the city and that no one was safe given the increasing number of new cases and deaths.
“Covid-19 is now everywhere and is nearer to all more than we think. It is near your neighbour, in the offices, buses used for transport and people must take responsibility and ensure they do not catch this efficient killer disease,” said Prof Ngwenya.
“The virus is not found in the hospital only but it’s deep in the community as witnessed by the two deaths which occurred during the past few days. The two bodies came to Mpilo where Covid-19 was confirmed but they were from the community which means everyone is now at risk.”
Prof Ngwenya said people were likely to die as institutions were not fully equipped to deal with complications.
“People are going to die if they are not careful and my advice is that they must stay at home, it’s as simple as that.”
He said the four patients are yet to be moved to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.
“We have set up a temporary ward where they are admitted as we wait for the city health department to come and move them to Thorngrove,” added Prof Ngwenya.
Contacted for comment, director of health services Dr Edwin Sibanda said the four Covid-19 patients at Mpilo were the responsibility of the provincial medical director Dr Welcome Mlilo.
Dr Mlilo could not be reached for comment.
The country also recorded 58 new cases bringing the cumulative total to 1 478 since the outbreak of the global pandemic in March.
Of the new cases, 21 are returnees from South Africa, 16 from Botswana and the rest are local members of the public who are already on isolation.
Matabeleland South province recorded the highest number of new cases yesterday with 50, followed by Manicaland which recorded five.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, 439 people have recovered from the pandemic since the first was recorded.
“As at July 18, 2020, Zimbabwe had 1478 confirmed cases, including 439 recoveries and 25 deaths.”