A patient who tested positive for Covid-19 after initially being diagnosed with malaria and admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals is from Murewa, a rural district 75 kilometres northeast of the Zimbabwe capital, Harare.
Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care Secretary, Dr Agnes Mahomva told ZTN on Tuesday that the patient had recovered from malaria but after further tests, the results came out Covid-19 positive.
“This patient had come from Murewa and was initially being managed as a malaria patient after testing positive. They had recovered and due for discharge when results later showed that they were Covid-19 positive.
“So they have a mild illness and will be managed from home where they will be clinically managed,” she said.
The patient becomes the second Covid-19 case from rural Zimbabwe, after the late 82-year-old ambuya Nguni from Mhondoro.
The latest case makes apparent the dilemma that Zimbabwe faces with Covid-19 and malaria, while there is also concern that the virus might start spreading to rural areas.
Zimbabwe, currently in its malaria peak season is facing a double burden of the mosquito-borne disease and Covid-19.
Zimbabwean authorities are now simultaneously testing for Covid-19 in malaria patients.
Last Friday Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo expressed concern that the Covid-19 pandemic had potential to reverse the gains made in malaria control over the years.
Zimbabwe, currently on lockdown as it grapples to contain the spread of Covid-19, has recorded over 130 malaria deaths since January.