BY RICHARD MUPONDE
TWENTY nurses at Maphisa District Hospital in Matabeleland South province tested positive for coronavirus this week, sending the settlement, predominantly occupied by civil servants, gold miners and panners into a panic mode as some residents had contact with the affected health workers.
Provincial medical officer Rudo Chikodzore yesterday had not responded to questions sent to her before going to print.
However, a source in the health sector confirmed that 20 nurses tested positive, with one of them infecting her husband who works for a non-governmental organisation in Gwanda.
“Over 20 nurses are in self-isolation after the tests. The district is now a health time bomb because of the presence of a high number of gold panners who patronise the business centre,” he said.
This came as Agribank closed its Maphisa branch after an employee also tested positive to the virus.
In a memo to stakeholders and accountholders, Agribank said: “One of our staff members at Maphisa tested positive for COVID-19 following a routine test. The employee is stable and is now under isolation. The local COVID-19 rapid response team is now handling the matter as prescribed by the of Health and Child Care ministry and the World Health Organisation guidelines.
“Accordingly, a decision has been made to temporarily close Agribank Maphisa branch to allow disinfection to be conducted at the premises.”
The bank said this had now resulted in the rest of staff at the affected branch being sent on a 14-day self-quarantine and compulsory polymerase chain reaction tests to ascertain their COVID-19 status.
Agribank said the branch’s reopening depended on consultations with the Matobo district COVID-19 rapid response team.