Man flees Zimbabwean hospital before coronavirus tests could be done

Nii Ntreh Mar 10, 2020 at 05:00pm

March 10, 2020 at 05:00 pm | News

Nii Ntreh

Nii Ntreh | Staff Writer

March 10, 2020 at 05:00 pm | News

The number of confirmed cases in Africa is growing but these involve foreigners who have traveled to the continent from areas prone to the virus. Photo Credit: BBC

A Thai national fled a hospital in Zimbabwe capital Harare as staff were getting ready to test him for the coronavirus.

According to multiple reports, the 26-year-old man was referred to the public hospital by a private medical facility. It is not clear what symptoms may have triggered the referral.

But Bloomberg News, which cites a Zimbabwe state-controlled news streaming service, reports that the man was helped by his father to escape.

The Thai man was the fourth person sent to the hospital for testing. Of the first three, two had tested negative.

Harare’s director of public health, Prosper Chonzi, is quoted to have said: “We have reported the case to the police and we are working hand in hand with them to try and locate the patient as soon as possible and bring them to the hospital for admission.”

Africa now has more than 30 cases of the virus and has not had any major outbreak as of yet. The continent has large populations of students spread across China, where the coronavirus was first identified.

Many more also go to China from Africa for purposes of trade. Recently, African airlines including Kenyan Airways, RwandAir, and Air Madagascar suspended trips to China in the wake of the growing concerns around the threat posed by the virus.

Nevertheless, the cases in Africa have all so far been linked to foreigners on the continent.

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