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Midlands records increase in Covid-19 deaths

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THE Midlands province has recorded a spike in Covid-19 deaths with 12 people being killed by the coronavirus as of Wednesday, while confirmed cases are also rising, a senior government official has said.

STEPHEN CHADENGA
The national death toll is 446 as of yesterday. Provincial affairs minister and Covid-19 provincial taskforce chairperson Larry Mavima said the Midlands recorded more than 130 cases in the past two days with an increase in active cases noted.

“The Covid-19 death toll in the province now stands at 12,” Mavima said.

“As of Wednesday, the province had 1 266 confirmed cases up from 1 129 recorded last Sunday with 1 040 recoveries. Active cases now stand at 214 up from 87.”

High-profile victims of the coronavirus include prominent Gweru businessman and gold miner Philemon Mubata who succumbed to the pandemic on Monday.

Mavima urged people to adhere to Covid-19 regulations to prevent the spread of the virus in the province. Last year, Anglo American Platinum’s Unki Mine donated a newly equipped 10-bed intensive care unit (ICU) to Gweru Provincial Hospital as part of efforts to fight the pandemic.

The donation included ventilators, ICU beds, oxygen equipment and installation, personal protective equipment, multi-parameter monitors and other medical equipment.

Asked to comment on the provincial hospital’s Covid-19 preparedness, medical superintendent Fabian Mashingaidze said he was on leave up to 10 January and referred questions to provincial medical director Reginald Mhene.

Mhene had however not responded to questions at the time of going to print but staff at the hospital said it could not cope with the increasing cases of Covid-19 in the province.

Meanwhile, Gweru City Council mayor Josiah Makombe said the local authority’s refurbished Infectious Diseases Hospital has to date admitted 101 people suspected to have been infected with Covid-19.

“We are doing our best as council and our Covid-19 rapid response team is available 24/7 (24 hours a day and seven days a week),” said Makombe.

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