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WANTED: COVID-19 POSITIVE PATIENT MISSING

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MBABANE – A confirmed COVID-19 positive patient has gone missing and the Ministry of Health is seeking his whereabouts.
As a result, government analysis of updated cases shows that there is one patient who is pending registration to care since last Thursday.


The patient is said to be from the Shiselweni Region and was among the 30 cases confirmed on May 7, 2020.
He first appeared to be pending registration on May 8, 2020 and this status had not changed in a statement released by Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi yesterday.


When questioned about this, Director of Health Services Dr Vusi Magagula said the patient could not be located as his phone was not available on the local networks.


Searched


He said they were hoping to get hold of him soon.
“He might be somewhere where there is no network coverage,” he opined. Magagula said the patient might have damaged his phone but they were hoping to get hold of him.


However, Minister of Health Nkosi, when interviewed prior to Magagula, said the patient’s sister pointed him to being on the South African side (Pongola) where he was said to be working.


He is said to have used an informal crossing to get there, according to the minister, as per information said to have been sourced from the sister.


The minister stated that attempts were made to track him through Immigration but he was not found.
When asked if the patient was a contact, the minister said based on him being asymptomatic, he might have been a contact.


“We will do secondary contact- tracing based on the information we got from the sister. We will monitor the family as he was in contact with them,” said Nkosi.


Mingling


When asked about the dangers of having a positive patient supposedly ‘mingling’ with others, Nkosi confirmed that the patient was a danger to the people he was with as he was not aware of his results.


The minister stated that they were working hard to get assistance from health workers where the patient was believed to be, to ensure that he was taken in and put at the right place.


She also stated that they were also frequently checking up with the family as there were possibilities of him coming back soon.
Nkosi said normally, when people got tested, they were told to isolate until they received their results.


On a standard basis, results take 24 hours, but depending on the quantities of tests and batches per day, they might take up to 48 hours, according to the minister.

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