I’m Case Quantity 15 of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe or at the very least that’s what I used to be advised when the Speedy Response Group visited my dwelling to tell me that I had examined optimistic for COVID-19. I select to stay nameless to guard my family members and what I hope stays of my profession ought to I survive this virus. As I wrestle to return to phrases with my an infection, I discover myself battling a media outrage following the article by the Chronicle titled “Watch out for this affected person! COVID-19 optimistic lady gallivanting round city” written by Nqobile Tshili and printed on the 16th of April 2020.
This text describes a 34-year-old feminine who initially lied that she was a Nurse however is, actually, a Physiotherapist at an area hospital who has violated self-quarantine measures and is roaming across the metropolis and exposing residents. I’m not certain whether or not I’m a sufferer of tasteless journalism or there may be certainly one other Case Quantity 15 who’s gallivanting the streets of Bulawayo exposing harmless lives to this dreaded virus.
I’m a necessary employee, a physiotherapist and I’m happy with my job. On Sunday, the 12th of April 2020, I went to work with a colleague of mine to carry out a handover takeover as I used to be on account of begin my shift the next day. We arrived on the entrance of my office the place we needed to move by the routine screening station earlier than being allowed entry into the hospital. Once they checked my temperature they mentioned it was elevated and I jokingly requested that they confirm whether or not their machine was nicely calibrated as I used to be asymptomatic.
I requested them to recheck my temperature which they did a number of instances earlier than calling within the Speedy Response Group. I used to be requested to take a seat within the isolation tent the place they took down my particulars and journey historical past. I confirmed that I had not travelled exterior the nation (and even the town), neither had I been in direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 nor had I been in direct contact with somebody who had lately travelled (though I did spotlight that I lived in the identical gated group as a somebody who had lately returned from the UK however had not been in direct contact with him).
After a number of hours, the Speedy Response Group finally got here by and picked up a pattern for testing. Earlier than they left I inquired on when to count on my outcomes and the way they’d be delivered for which they responded that I ought to count on a name after a most of 48 hours from the Speedy Response Group. I used to be advised to self-isolate till my outcomes got here out.
I went again dwelling and complied with self-isolation, optimistic that the outcomes have been unfavourable as I had no motive to imagine in any other case.
Monday, the 14th of April 2020 simply earlier than midnight I realised that one thing was incorrect after I acquired quite a lot of messages from colleagues who have been asking if I used to be okay. I checked my inbox and got here throughout the every day replace from the Ministry of Well being and Little one Care and instantly realised that case quantity 15 was referring to me as had quite a lot of my colleagues.
I resolved to await official communication from the Speedy Response Group who solely got here by to my residence on Tuesday the 15th at 1430hrs. Not like the data circulating on social media and within the Chronicle, they discovered me at my place of residence. I expressed my displeasure at getting my outcomes by way of social media for which they apologised noting that their lab in Bulawayo had despatched the outcomes to Harare earlier than informing the Speedy Response Group.
I discovered that to be dysfunctional and unethical nonetheless I focussed on the best way ahead. I used to be advised to self-isolate as my signs have been delicate and a Physician would get in contact with me to help with my case.
I want to state that as a well being employee, I recognize greater than the common particular person the significance of self-isolation. We spend the higher a part of our lives attempting to protect life as such I might not knowingly endanger harmless lives. As such my shock when within the wee hours of the morning on Thursday the 16th of April 2020, I acquired a hyperlink to the publication by the Chronicle accusing Case Quantity 15 on recklessly endangering the lives of residents by defying self-isolation.
Social Media has since been awash with the information which begs me to ask whether or not there may be one other Case Quantity 15 or is that this only a case of unethical journalism.
We’re all liable to contracting the COVID-19 virus and extra so well being employees who regardless of the chance proceed to supply their companies to the ailing. All around the world, we witness standing ovations for well being employees who stand within the line of fireplace in opposition to this virus however in Zimbabwe, we get accused of endangering lives by gallivanting the streets.
Now, as a substitute of specializing in my well being, I’m combating tooth and nail to rectify the false allegations in opposition to me in order that if and once I do heal, I’m able to proceed to follow as a well being skilled with out the darkish cloud that such allegations current to my profession and livelihood.
COVID-19 Case Quantity 15