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Chaos rocks Ministry of Health over new Coronavirus cases

27 May 2020 at 20:48hrs | Views
The Ministry of Health and Child Care is involved in a last minute effort to clean its image after there was a sharp increase of Coronavirus cases in the country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening the Ministry admitted that they did not declare positive cases on the 23rd of May because they did not believe the sudden change of figures to double digit figures.

Read the full statement below:

We report the results of PCR tests conducted using the GeneXpert machines which were done over the past four days which had not been included in the situation report as we awaited confirmation of the results from the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory.

This confirmation was required because of the unusual surge of positive tests after the introduction of the cartridge based nucleic acid PCR (GeneXpert).

For Quality Assurance purposes, environmental sampling, inter-lab comparability and resampling of patients was done.

Environmental sampling (swabbing of the laboratory) was conducted to rule out any possible laboratory contamination. This was carried out due to the surge in positive samples after the introduction of GeneXpert testing in all the provinces.

There was no contamination identified.

Inter-lab comparability: The same positive specimens were sent to other labs in the country mainly National Microbiology Reference Laboratory & National Virology Reference Laboratory to check for concordance and there was 100% concordance

Resampling of Patients: A sample of the positive cohort was resampled and retested and the results were in agreement with the initial results

On the 23rd of May a total of 186 PCR tests were done and 12 were positive for COVID-19 from Masvingo.

On the 25th of May a total of 404 PCR tests were conducted and 64 tested positive for COVID-19 (Harare-35, Masvingo -12, Mat North -1, Mat South -13 and Bulawayo-3). Sixty one (61) cases were returning residents who were in quarantine centres and the three (3) were local.

The cumulative number of tests done to date is 38 656 (22 402 ROT and 16 254 PCR).

To date the total number of confirmed cases is 132; recovered 25, active cases 103 and 4 deaths, since the onset of the outbreak on 20 March 2020.

Source - Mandla Ndlovu
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