UK visitor may have infected two Bulawayo people with coronavirus


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A friend of Ian Hyslop from the United Kingdom who visited him in Bulawayo on 21 March may have passed on the coronavirus to him and to another man whom he visited on 23 March.

Hyslop has been identified by his family as the 79-year-old who died of coronavirus on 4 April.

The family blames his death on the “utter careless and ignorance” of the two general practitioners who examined him before his death.

They also blamed the management of the old peoples’ home where he stayed for preventing him from  getting medical attention when he needed it most.

Sharon Fury, one of Hyslop’s daughters who is in Australia, said the friend from the UK visited her father on 21 March.

“On March 25, my sister who resides in Bulawayo booked an appointment for dad to see his doctor in the afternoon after informing us he was suffering from troublesome flu symptoms (cough, sore throat and a slight temperature),” Sharon said.

“Following his doctor’s appointment, he told my sister, Glenda, ‘the doctor checked him over and said he had a bit of bronchitis and his throat was okay’. He had been prescribed Ciprofloxacin (a bacterial antibiotic).

“I found this account of his examination very worrying, especially with the imminent lockdown due to Covid-19 and his symptoms being typical of this disease. I would have expected this doctor to consider him as a possible Covid-19 case, and at the very least conduct a full blood count that would immediately give him an idea if the problem was bacterial or viral,” said Sharon who is an assistant in nursing in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Perth.

The Ministry of Health said yesterday the UK visitor may have passed on the coronavirus to Zimbabwe’s 14 patient, a 53-year-old man also from Bulawayo.

The ministry said the rapid response team had visited the man as part of its intensified surveillance and tracing of all those who had been in contact with Hyslop.

On Saturday the ministry said Hyslop had been in primary contact with 47 people.

It established that the man had not been in direct contact with Hyslop but had been in contact with the UK visitor who had also visited Hyslop.

The ministry said the UK visitor tested negative for coronavirus using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) but was positive under the Rapid Antibody Test.

The ministry said without any confirmed case to explain the source of infection for Hyslop and the 53-year-old, it had concluded that the UK visitor was the most probably link.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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