By Shingirai Vambe
Rusape- A man in Makoni District has reportedly been affected for the second time, now with the third wave but tests carried out at Rusape general Hospital resulted in more close contacts contracting to covid-19
A close relative told Post On Sunday that the entire family including his girlfriend got affected after failure to detect the variant at the hospital.
“It is the second time getting Covid-19, with the deteriorating health condition we decided to go to Harare for medical attention that’s where he tested positive, but it was too late because almost every member of the family had already been affected including his girlfriend” he said.
“Our relative is a sugar diabetic patient and we thought the sugar level had gone high, but he insisted that he get tested somewhere else since he had an earlier experience which he knew about Covid-19 that is when it was detected”, he added
In response to this development, Rusape Medical Superintendent, Dr Stewart Karembo told this publication that due to two types of tests of the virus it is highly possible to come across such.
“There are 2 covid-19 tests, Covid-19 Antigen test (Rapid test) a positive antigen test depicts covid-19 infection in a patient. Antigen tests are usually positive during the first few days of infection when the viral load is high. Results usually are available in 15 minutes and this type of testing is most used at rural health centres where there are no laboratories” said Karembo.
He however added that the results can be negative as the viral load titres becomes lower than can be picked up by the Antigen tests.
“Not all negative tests are true” he said.
“A high index of suspicion is required in patients who are symptomatic with a negative Antigen test, as their results are usually picked up by the confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test”
Karembo added that the gold testing method is PCR testing and as Rusape they don’t have the capacity to do PCR testing to almost everyone, due to various reasons.
“Turnaround time for results depends with the capacity of the machine at a time versus demand for the test, sample transportation system, efficiency and feedback system used to share the results while we also look at the availability of PCR test kits and machine reagents” he said.
Parliamentary Health and Child Care committee chairperson, Ruth Labode added her voice to Dr Karembo’s comment and told Post On Sunday that vaccination is the only way to go.
“Our government has poured a lot resources to vaccines than test kits and that is the only way we can reduce the spread of covid, PCR testing is the one which can produce accurate results but the purpose of the vaccine is to fight the disease way before one affects other people”
“I have just dropped off the plane, coming from Nigeria and the message is one, vaccinate, besides all who guidelines and lockdown measure people should be vaccinated” added Labode.
So far Zimbabwe has managed to acquire 5 million doses in two weeks, and positive cases and deaths have also increased in the past week hence the demand for the vaccine to fight against the Delta variant.