BULAWAYO health officials have said a Covid-19 patient who violated self-isolation regulations has been placed under quarantine at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital and clarified that the individual is not patient number 15.
On Thursday, Chronicle reported patient number 15 as having violated self-isolation procedures, but health officials say it was a mix-up in their description of the patients as another patient, and not patient 15, is the one who violated self-isolation regulations.
The non-complying patient whose profile number was not released has since been placed on quarantine at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital for violating isolation rules.
The patient who did not comply with procedures was seen at some shopping centres and other public places in Bulawayo.
The Rapid Response Team also did not find the patient at home during the prescribed time of home self-isolation.
In clarifying the matter, newly appointed acting Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director Dr Welcome Mlilo said they were satisfied with patient number 15’s compliance to self-isolation after testing positive on Monday, but another patient had violated rules.
In response to that violation, the said patient was taken from home and quarantined at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital.
“I really was not keen to discuss the individual cases per say, patient 15 and patient 16. But on this one, I think I will make an exception; it is proper for me to set the record straight.
“Patient 15 as far as we are aware, as far as our response team, has been fully in compliance with self-isolation protocol which is in place,” said Dr Mlilo.
He said council has since put on forced quarantine a patient who violated the self-isolation procedures, risking residents’ lives.
“On the other case where one of the patients who was diagnosed Covid-19 positive has broken self-isolation protocol, we have moved in to take that patient and quarantine him or her in one of our facilities.
“So that is how we are going to proceed going forward. If anyone is found to be breaking the self-isolation protocol that are in place, we will move in and quarantine that person,” said Dr Mlilo.
Editor’s Note: In our story published on April 16 headlined “Beware of this patient! Covid-19 positive woman gallivants around town,” we quoted Bulawayo City Council health services director Dr Edwin Sibanda saying the local rapid response team was investigating patient number 15’s case after receiving information that she did not comply with lockdown measures. It has since emerged that while it was true that a patient under self-isolation had violated protocols by leaving home, Dr Sibanda erroneously identified the patient as number 15. For our part in this regrettable error, we have since apologised to patient 15, through her representative, and extend an unreserved apology to our valued readers. For the record, the director of health services is a leading authority in the fight against Covid-19 in Bulawayo, and continues to be one of our go-to sources.