A whole village in Mhondoro, Mashonaland West, is being tested for coronavirus following the death of an 82-year-old grandmother on April 21.
Health officials are still mystified how the elderly woman, the mother of former minister Sylvester Nguni, contracted the virus while living in a remote village with a maid and herdboy.
Nguni on Sunday rejected news reports suggesting that his mother had recently travelled to the United Kingdom, or that she was in contact with a nephew who returned from the UK.
While he has an uncle named Christopher Chitemere who lived in the same village as his mother, Nguni said this was not the same man reported to have recently returned from the UK before refusing to go for a mandatory 21-day quarantine.
Health minister Obadiah Moyo said as part of their investigations to locate the source of the infection, they had taken a decision to test everyone in Chitemere Village, and surrounding areas, after two people – a 46-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man – who were in contact with the 82-year-old also tested positive.
“Our teams from Harare and Mashonaland West have since started combing the whole area, tracing and testing all individuals as we try to get to the bottom of this issue,” Moyo said.
The ministry of health said in a statement released early Monday that a 31-year-old Harare man who returned from the United Kingdom on April 13 is one of three new cases announced over the weekend.
The UK returnee is “stable and currently in mandatory isolation”. It is believed that the individual is the same man who refused to be quarantined upon arrival, allegedly after using political muscle.
Meanwhile, the ministry of health said five people have so far recovered from coronavirus. The five are one case in Victoria Falls and all four reported cases in Mashonaland East.
Zimbabwe has 31 reported cases of the coronavirus, four of which resulted in death.