February 14, 2020

Zim warns private doctors to stay away from Coronavirus

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Samantha Rusare

Doctors in private practice in Zimbabwe will not be allowed to handle any suspected cases of coronavirus.

Harare city health director Dr Prosper Chonzi told ZTN that all suspected cases of the virus will be handled by public health institutions.

“Private practitioners should not deal with infected patients at their surgeries. They should refer them to public institutions and we isolate them to protect the public,” he said.

This comes at a time when training of local medical professionals on coronavirus has started.

A total of 96 representatives from all over the country are at Wilkins Infectious Hospital undergoing training.

The training programme will see health care workers being provided with latest information and guidelines in the prevention, diagnosis and management of the virus.

Dr Chonzi said, “We are training them and sensitizing them about this condition because they are the ones who are mandated to deal with infectious conditions.

According to latest data from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, 1 741 people are on surveillance for coronavirus after having entered the country from countries with confirmed cases of the virus.

Coronavirus was first detected in China towards the end of last year and to date it has claimed 1 113 lives. 44 653 cases of the virus have been recorded in the Asian country.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday named the illness COVID-19, an acronym which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

The WHO said it had chosen a name for the disease that makes no reference to places, animals or people, to avoid stigma.

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