FILE - This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio implored the federal government Thursday, March 5, 2020, to send more coronavirus test kits as the city confirmed two more COVID-19 cases, both in hospitalized patients with no known travel history or personal connections linking them to the virus. (CDC via AP, File)

Avenues Clinic Medical Director Professor Godfrey Muguti has announced that all patients coming for planned admissions must be tested for the novel coronavirus using the PCR testing method.

Professor Muguti said all emergency patients must be tested using Rapid Diagnostic testing.

He said the new admission regulations are due to the rise in Covid-19 infections in Zimbabwe. As of 01 July 2020, Zimbabwe had 605 confirmed cases, including 166 recoveries and seven (7) deaths.

It is not clear if Avenues Clinic will offer the services for free or what a patient is required to pay for a COVID-19 test.

The new admission regulations by Avenues Clinic come at a time when news that a Zimbabwean hospital in Bulawayo, Mater Dei Hospital is charging a maximum deposit of USD 5,000 for Covid-19 patients needing ICU hospitalisation, is doing the rounds on the internet.

The total price for hospitalisation is not fixed as it depends on the number of days a patient needs.

The news on what Mater Dei Hospital is charging has been met with disgruntlement from the public with many saying they will not be able to afford such high fees.

The health situation in Zimbabwe has been worsened by government nurses and doctors who are on strike.

Recently, nurses from United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) were quarantined following the death of a 79-year-old woman who succumbed to Covid-19 last week.

Over 42 nurses and 26 student nurses were quarantined following the death of a patient at the institution.

The incident follows the isolation of nearly 200 Mpilo Central Hospital nurses two weeks ago after they came into contact with a positive colleague and three patients.

14 of the Mpilo nurses tested positive for Covid-19.


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