In recent weeks the Zimbabwean government seems to have ramped up its testing following the receipt of more covid-19 rapid testing kits from China. So far about 563 people have been tested and 14 have tested positive with two reported fatalities including the case of Zororo Makamba.

The Ministry would like to report that the five outstanding results from yesterday were negative for COV1D-19. Today, the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory tested 10 samples, and all were negative for COVID-19.

Additionally, the Ministry would like to advise that the National TB Reference Laboratory in Bulawayo tested 6 samples today. All were negative for COV1D-19. Therefore, to date, Zimbabwe has fourteen confirmed cases including three deaths.

Cumulative Tests Conducted: 563

COV1D-19 Negative: 549

COVID-19 Positive: 14

Deaths: 3

Matebeleland North: 1

Mashonaland East: 4

Bulawayo: 2

Harare: 7

Total: 14

Case #14 diagnosed yesterday is a 53-year-old male resident of Bulawayo. The local Rapid Response Team visited him at home as part of intensified surveillance and contact tracing for the late, case #11. Even though he was not a direct contact of case #11, he was in contact with the visitor from the United Kingdom who in turn was in contact with case #11 on the 23rd of March 2020. Samples were collected for testing and he was confirmed positive for COVID-19 yesterday. He is stable, with mild disease ad is self-isolating at home.

However, considering that the visitor from UK had tested negative for COVID-19 using PCR, the Ministry went on further to do a Rapid COVID-19 1gM Antibody Test on this visitor from UK. The Rapid Antibody Test was positive confirming that at some point prior to this test, he was infected with COVID-19. Antibodies are produced over days to weeks after infection with the virus. Without any other confirmed case to explain the source of infection for case #11and casen#14, te Ministry, therefore, concluded that this visitor from the UK is the most probable epidemiological link to both case #11 and case #14.

The Ministry would like to remind the nation that, the most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to practise good personal hygiene and exercise social distancing.

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