In its daily report this Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said the patients died in the community and on admission to the casualty ward at Parirenyatwa Hospital and other hospitals. Almost all the deaths — 10 men and six women — were in Harare with one man each from Manicaland and Midlands. Mutare and Gweru have been seen as the epicentres of the pandemic in these two provinces.
On Wednesday, 75 new infections were confirmed, all local cases except a single returning resident from South Africa, taking the new total to 4 893 confirmed cases with 3 740 of these being infected within Zimbabwe.
Of the local infections, Harare accounts for 1 595 with 71 deaths, Bulawayo for 1 103 with 23 deaths, Midlands for 334 with six deaths and Manicaland for 195 with 10 deaths. Mashonaland East, which includes a belt of settlements, such as Ruwa, right on Harare's eastern border, now has 197 local cases and one death.
There have been 1 620 confirmed recoveries but with the Harare total on just 76 there is still a large group of people who are now well but who have yet to enter the official statistics as cured.
Last Thursday another high figure of 13 deaths in 24 hours was recorded.
Covid-19 chief coordinator in the office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva called on people to seek medical attention early if symptoms they have persist.
"A lot of people are presenting late and hence by the time they get in they are so ill so they die…. A lot of people who seek medical help earlier are doing so well and many are recovering," she said.
The youngest fatality in the country has been a three week old baby who died last week.
However, she highlighted the number of recoveries which stands at more than 1 600 out of over 4 800 cases is encouraging, with government continuously urging citizens to properly wear masks, sanitise and practice social distancing.
Speaking for the first time following his appointment to head the ministry, Vice President Chiwenga, who was speaking at Hippo Valley estates during a tour of winter maize being grown on newly cleared and irrigated land, said a new era had dawned for the health delivery system in the country.
"Things will never be the same again. We are restructuring and reforming our health delivery system. We want to rebuild the structures from village to referral level. Things will never be the same again, but we must work together.
"We have already identified the problems and we do not want a repeat of what was happening before," he said.
The Health minister urged Zimbabweans to adhere to what health experts say and was concerned that infections continued to spike in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare, the country's biggest cities.
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