Bulawayo City Council

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Mayor's Report on Covid-19

Thursday 7 May 2020

i. Introduction

Bulawayo City Council Mayors Report 5
Outbreak Name COVID-19 Area on Alert City of Bulawayo
Date / Time of report 07 May 2020 Response start date 25 January 2020
Prepared by City of Bulawayo PHEIC Declared 31st January 2020
National Disaster Declared 17th March 2020 Pandemic Declared 11th March 2020


  • Global cumulative total of 3 588 773 confirmed (71 463) and 247 503 deaths (4 102) Source: WHO SitRep 107, as of 1000hrs CEST 06 May 2020
  • Africa 53 States reporting 43 060 confirmed 1 761 deaths and 14 343 recoveries Source: Africa CDC Report, as of 1800hrs EAT 03 May 2020
  • Nationally a cumulative of 48 confirmed cases (2), 18 recoveries and 4 deaths (0) Source: Zimbabwe MoHCC Update issued 20 May 2020
  • In Bulawayo twelve cases (0), one recovery and 1 death (0) Source: City of Bulawayo: Health Services Department 07 May 2020


Case # Byo case # Diagnosed Travel Detail Possible Contact Status Contacts
11 1 07 April 2020 Nil M/79 Zim Case 33 Deceased 67
14 2 11 April 2020 Nil M/53 Zim Case 33 Repeat PCR Neg 24
15 3 13 April 2020 Nil F/34 Not yet Known Repeat PCR Neg 58
16 4 13 April 2020 Nil F/52 Zim case 11 Asymptomatic 26
17 5 13 April 2020 Nil F/79 Zim case 11 Recovered 107
19 6 15 April 2020 Nil F/4 Zim case 16 Asymptomatic 2
20 7 15 April 2020 Nil F/10 Zim case 16 Asymptomatic 2
21 8 15 April 2020 Nil F/34 Zim case 16 Asymptomatic 2
22 9 15 April 2020 Nil F/16 Zim case 16 Asymptomatic 1
23 10 15 April 2020 Nil F/52 Zim case 15 Asymptomatic 37
33 11 28 April 2020 UK M/70 United Kingdom Asymptomatic 39
34 12 28 April 2020 Nil M/27 Zim case 33 Asymptomatic 15

The City has not had new cases for the past 8 days and in the previous count the City had gone up to 13 days without a new case.

Bulawayo currently has 12 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) confirmed cases. Zimbabwe Case 17 (Bulawayo Case 5) has had at least 2 negative repeat PCR tests done at least 24 hours apart and has therefore recovered. The other 10 cases are stable and asymptomatic.

A total of 639 contacts have since been identified, classified and followed up. As it stands the eleven other cases are due to active local transmission. Efforts to prudently implement effective outbreak containment measures are ongoing.


Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has different thematic teams participating in the Epidemic response: Call Centre; Case Management; Coordination; Risk Communication & Community Engagement (RCCE), Disease Surveillance; Disinfection, Environmental Sanitation, Waste Management & Body Management; Logistics Supply Chain Management; Rapid Response Teams (RRTs); Suspected / Probable Patient location facilitation. BCC Health Services Department Epidemic Preparedness and Response Teams get daily updates through physical meetings (beginning 28th of January 2020) and complemented by electronic media platforms.

The overall City response was escalated to be level of the Provincial Minister of State.

A call out roster for staff, enhanced by a WhatsApp chat group is in place. The BCC Call Centre (backed by resources persons) can be contacted for information / services on numbers:

  • 08084700 (Econet Numbers Only)
  • 08004700 (TelOne Numbers Only)
  • 263-2922 71290 (All Networks)
  • 263-774 668 432 (WhatsApp Only)

Two numbers are available for direct calls to the rapid response teams (Cell phones courtesy of the Bulawayo Entertainment Industry) i.e.

  • 263 - 784 150 042
  • 263 - 784 149 828

The current 49(21 + 14 +14) day national lockdown is in effect till the 17th of May 2020. The lockdown has been relaxed to level 2 with some sectors now allowed to resume work on condition that their employees have temperature tests upon entering work premises; hand sanitizers upon entry to sanitize their hands; each employee to wear a face mask in appropriate form; and employees to practice social distancing in the work place.


This past week disinfection did not take place. However, in the recent weeks the City used Hydrogen Peroxide to disinfect open spaces characterised by high human traffic. Areas with high human traffic that were disinfected included the Central business district where spraying took place from the 7th to 10th April 2020, the Railway station which was sprayed on the 11th April, 2020 and Residential areas including Nketa 7 shopping centre, Nketa 9 shopping centre, Emganwini (Food 4 Less), Emganwini (Tashas), Sekusile shops, Sekusile Flea market, Bullet Shopping Centre, Nkulumane Complex, Makokoba Shops, Renkini, Entumbane Complex and Entumbane Long Distance Bus terminus, Cowdray Park areas and Luveve (Chigumira/Matsika) shopping centre. The disinfection was applied using water cannons sourced from the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The spray was either aerial or a direct fine spray on shop pavements. Spraying started at 15:00hrs after the close of shops so as to ensure that targeted areas were found clear of human traffic. Communities where spraying was done were sensitised in advance. No challenges were encountered during the spraying process. Hydrogen Peroxide disinfects through the effect of its reduction to water with the release of oxygen. The chemical is therefore environmentally friendly.

Sanitization of the environment is to complement washing of hands, social distancing, cough etiquette etc.


In Indicator Based Surveillance the District Health Information System (DHIS2) shows than there is an increase in the number on Acute Respiratory Illnesses (ARI) cases month on month as well as in 2020 comparing to 2019, particularly the moderate and severe types.

In Event Based Surveillance the Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) active since February 2020 have been following up rumours of possible suspected cases of COVID-19 and presently have followed up more than of 230 scares. They have submitted specimens from 977 people that fit the case definition to laboratories for Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests to detect the virus.

Staff members from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Applied Genetic Testing Centre (AGTC) working with those at the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTBRL) located at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo started testing using RT-PCR on the 11th April 2020. By 1000hrs, on the 6th May 2020, between the two laboratories a total of 826 tests had been done with 12 being positive on behalf of Bulawayo City Council. One hundred and thirty nine (139) results were pending.

The screening of all rumours and follow ups of suspected cases received via the Call Centre was done.

The number of travellers that came into Bulawayo to their homes was 1875. Of these at least 1796 (95.8%) travellers had since been followed up by the teams in Bulawayo. Follow up of the other travellers is in progress. The area with the highest number of travellers under surveillance remained Suburbs. The updated lists of travellers that come into the country during the month of April was from official Ports of Entry (PoE) keeps being received and follow ups are ongoing.

Deportees that have more recently come into the country are now placed in mandatory quarantine facilities. The city currently has two such facilities, which are United College of Education (UCE) housing female and child deportees / returnees and Bulawayo Polytechnic for the males. UCE had received more than 300 females while Bulawayo Polytechnic had received more than 400 males. All the deportees tested negative for COVID-19 by both PCR (recently) and RDT (in the past). Hygiene conditions continue being monitored on a daily and remain satisfactory. Social distancing is being encouraged amongst the deportees/ returnees. Jairos Jiri is housing 30 male street kids whose age range is between 13 and 18years old that were rounded up from the streets of Bulawayo.

In Health Surveillance the implementation of protective factors to reduce the general risk of transmission is ongoing. These include activities such as active case finding, intensified shop inspections, health education on key messages that include self-isolation, social distancing, and hygiene practices; with special emphasis on the importance of staying at home. In order to improve coverage Environmental Health students from Matabeleland North were co-opted into the surveillance activities.

Food shops in the CBD are being monitored to encourage social distancing amongst customers while also, checking if sanitizers or hand washing facilities are available at entry points as well as educating on the risks of contracting Covid-19. The shops have generally been compliant with the recommendations to combat the disease. Challenges are faced in supermarkets with mealie meal which attract large numbers of customers resulting in chaos and failure to observe social distancing. The banks and money agents also attract large numbers of people which has resulted in some teams being posted to man those sites all day.


A WHO case definition which includes all age groups is being used. The city remains with 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 by the 7th May 2020. It remains emphasised that these low figures should not lull health care workers and the community into complacency because a surge in the number of cases remains possible. One 79 year old lady has recovered and 10 cases are clinically stable and asymptomatic with 9 in home isolation and one man quarantined at Elangeni Training Centre.

Trainings of staff by Ministry of Health and Child Care teams are ongoing and held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Hall 3. The BCC offered to orient staff in the surveillance activities and the specimen collection, handling and transportation techniques.

The citywide clinics have been trained to triage patients, elicit epidemiological and clinical history as well as expedite movements into and out of the clinic. Efforts to improve infection control processes are also in place as well as national guidelines for use of personal protective equipment.

Thorngrove Hospital is now undergoing renovations and these include the ambulance wash bay, a disinfection septic tank, a wheel bath at the main entrance gate, extension of the drug store, all internal service roads within the facility have been resurfaced with tar, a new entrance and gate created as well as, a walkway leading to staff rest rooms. The children’s isolation ward has been refurbished as follows: external walls painting, roof painting, repairs of broken window panes, and removal of gutters, yet to be replaced. Two boreholes drilled with one fitted to a Jojo Tank

Inspection of Proposed Isolation/Quarantine facilities such as Elangeni Training Centre and Hillside Teachers’ College to cater for mild or asymptomatic cases has been done. In total sixteen premises have been identified and inspected, including churches, schools, training institutions and lodges, and recommendations on areas that need attention have been made.


Still following the master schedule the RCCE team continued giving context specific information related to Covid-19 as well as to respond to any queries.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement is an important component to combating the spread of COVID-19. Risk communication is the exchange of real-time information, advice and opinions between experts and people facing threats to their health, economic or social wellbeing. The ultimate purpose of risk communication is to enable people at risk to take informed decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones. In response to the pandemic, the city has engaged communities, local partners and various stakeholders to protect individuals and families from COVID-19. Various strategies have been used to disseminate information to the community.

COVID-19 Activities

  • Trainings / Sensitisation Meetings

One (1) training was conducted on the 29th April 2020 to the funeral parlour personnel (40). The focus was on handling of bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic and the burial procedures.

COVID-19 Campaign during Lockdown:

The City embarked on a COVID-19 campaign covering all the three (3) administrative districts in the city. A hailer and PA system are used to disseminate information with assistance from ambulance services. These activities were conducted by City Health Department, Public Relations Section, Ambulance Services, National AIDS Council (NAC), Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ), Ministry of Gender and Women’s Affairs and Nehemiah project.

Key messages disseminated:

  • What COVID-19 is
  • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • How COVID-19 is prevented
  • Integration of COVID-19 Campaign with Africa Vaccination Week under the theme “Vaccines Work for ALL”. Celebrating the people who develop, deliver and receive vaccines as heroes, contributing to protecting everyone, everywhere. Never has this been clearer, than in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • Importance of Social Distancing
  • How COVID-19 is prevented with emphasis on washing of hands with soap and water, cough etiquette etc.
  • Importance of lock down. staying at home and movements done when necessary
  • Quarantine and Self-Isolation
  • Fumigation messaging at Cowdray Park, Luveve, Mzilikazi, Mabutweni and Mpopoma
  • Capacitating of shop managers in also ensuring an enabling environment for the efficient practicing of social distancing and hand hygiene
  • Dispelling myths and misconceptions of COVID 19 that arose from the communities
  • Contact details of Bulawayo City council Call Centre to use in case of suspected COVID-19

Areas Covered were as follows:

The focus for the week was on hot spots which were visited on daily basis:

CBD, (CBD Warnborough Mansions),Robert Sinyoka, St Peters, Mazwi, Hyde Park, Cowdray Park, Luveve, Pumula East, Pumula South, Pumula North, Pumula Old, Lobengula, Northend, Magwegwe North, Magwegwe West, Old Magwegwe, Nketa 7, Nketa 9, Nkulumane Sekusile, Nkulumane Complex, Makokoba, Mzilikazi, Barbourfields, Nguboyenja, Mahatshula North and Mahatshula South.

Old People’s homes and Children’s homes reached.

Thembiso Children’s Home and Percy Ibboston Home,

Food distribution Points

Lobengula Brethren in Christ Church

Sexual Rights Centre; areas Mzilikazi, Nguboyenja, Makokoba, Barbourfields, Pumula Old, Pumula South, Pumula East, Pumula North, Magwegwe Old and New Magwegwe, Mabutweni and Mpopoma. Temperature checks were done and 1 client was pyrexial with a Temperature of 38oC, however after screening by one of the nurses and it was established that it was not COVID-19 related.


  • A significant improvement was observed amongst the residents especially in Mahatshula and Cowdray Park in adhering to the COVID-19 preventive measures
  • The number of people in the CBD continued to increase with relaxation of the lockdown measures.
  • Sanitizers continue to be used in some shops
  • Other shop owners ensuring social distancing amongst their clients
  • In some areas residents continue with social activities like soccer and public drinking
  • Peri urban areas adhering to the lockdown and observing social distancing in queues


  • Key Messages delivered to the community
  • The use of OK Mart wholesale’s intercom to relay health messages to the customers and encouraging the manager to continue messaging in the absence of the risk communication team
  • Significant gains on behaviour change in some areas continue to be observed due to persistent information dissemination to the residents
  • The uniformed forces (Policemen and the Zimbabwe National Army) collaboration ensured compliance on social distancing
  • Continuous support of hot spots yielded good results as there was compliance on social distancing
  • Integration COVID-19 with Africa Vaccination Week 2020 and EPI outreach services
  • Reached out to deportees(450)quarantined at Bulawayo Polytechnic and United College of Education
  • Vulnerable populations reached at the Children’s Home and Old People’s Home
  • Fumigation messages relayed to the residents at Cowdray Park


  • Public loitering remains a challenge
  • Lock down not observed especially in low density suburbs thereby putting the community at risk of contracting COVID-19infection

Comments and Way Forward

  • To continue engaging the police and the business community in enforcing maintenance of social distancing.
  • Information Dissemination in the CBD and hot spots to be done on daily basis
  • To continue engaging Councillors and residents associations to assist with information dissemination on prevention of COVID-19

Social Media:

Various messages on COVID-19 continue to be shared on social media

Radio Programs

Pre-recorded messages continue to be flighted on; Skyz Metro, Star FM and Khulumani FM (Sponsored by; City of Bulawayo, PSZ and Plan International).

Print IEC material distributed

Posters and Flyers distributed.

Health Education Sessions in Health Facilities

Health Education sessions on Covid-19continue to be conducted on daily basis in all health facilities

Estimated Population reached 52 700

Total Mileage Covered: 1 800km


Integration of Services: COVID-19 messaging and EPI Outreach

Mobile Applications: The City of Bulawayo has been working with Sila Health, in sharing and collecting information on COVID-19 towards its fight against COVID-19.

The application, Sis Joyce, is being used to provide information to the community on COVID-19. It works via chat platforms to share information on the signs and symptoms of the virus and it gives users of its COVID-19 assessment tool information on how to access emergency health care.

Since the launch of the App, it has done approximately 5000 assessments (28 days) with the following main symptoms tracked as follows headaches, General Pain and Chest Pain. The App impressions obtained are shown below;



  1. 1) Inadequate human resources should the cases increase in numbers.
  2. 2) Need for more oxygen canisters, flow metres, delivers tubes an masks/nasal prongs
  3. 3) Whilst Thorngrove Hospital has 2 ventilators yet to be installed and, at present can admit anything from asymptomatic to mild cases, it does not have ICU/HDU facilities.
  4. 4) No accommodation for isolating staff that may be exposed
  5. 5) No observation of social distancing in the city


  1. 1)Acting Provincial Medical Director to expedite secondment of 15 nurses to Bulawayo City Council as per commitment
  2. 2) Expediting infrastructure renovations for piped oxygen etc.
  3. 3) We propose the need for invoking the relevant Acts and subsequent written commitment, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), for an already capacitated, or semi-capacitated facility to take in the one or 2 critical cases immediately, should there need such services
  4. 4) MoHCC is going to house laboratory staff at hotels, for infection prevention and control, A/PMD is requested to lobby for the inclusion of BCC staff to also benefit.
  5. 5) Having noted that behaviour change is a problem, and social distancing is not yet complied with 100%, we lobby for utilisation of masks by all the population to act as a barrier that reduces propulsion and emission of aerosols into the environment. There is however need to ensure that there is management of the disposal of the masks as they have the potential to infect people and animals and can also contaminate the environment.


1. Rice 3 x10kg 28/03/2020 Qoki Zindlovukazi(UK based Zimbabweans) Week Ending 3 April 2020
2. Cooking oil 6 x 5lt " "
3. Mazoe juice 3 x 2lt " "
4. Brown sugar 15 x 2kg " "
5. Red Seal flour 3 x 10kg " "
6. Food for less White Rice 2 x 2kg " "
7. Winna Rice parboiled 2 x 5kg " "
8. Gold rice parboiled rice 1 x 1kg " "
9. Fiesta parboiled rice 1 x 10kg " "
10. Fiesta parboiled rice 1 x 5 kg " "
11. Mealie-meal 3 x 10 kg " "
12. FFP2 Face Masks 50 each 27/03/2020 PSI Zimbabwe Week Ending 3 April 2020
13. Liquid soap 80 x 5lt " "
14. Sanitizer 11 x 100ml 27/03/2020 OPHID Trust Week Ending 3 April 2020
15. Sanitizer 1 x 5lt " "
16. Surgical/Face masks 19 boxes " "
17. Latex gloves 36 boxes " "
18. Bed Sheets 300 each 31/03/2020 Rainbow Hotel Bulawayo Week Ending 3 April 2020
19. Pillow slips 300 each " "
20. Bath Towels 300 each
21. Mealie meal 8 x 10kg 30/03/2020 Thuthuka Bulawayo Trust Week Ending 3 April 2020
22. Rice 5 x 2kg
23. Instant porridge 10 x 1kg
24. Royco usavi soup 4 x 75g
25. Matemba 2 x 500g
26. Iris biscuits 10 x 1kg 31/03/2020
27. Instant porridge 3 x 1kg
28. Face Masks Bulawayo Babies Week Ending 3 April 2020
29. Solar Back Up Power System 15/04/2020 Chloride Zimbabwe Week Ending 3 April 2020
30. Surgical Gloves 30 pair 02/04/2020 MoHCC (Byo Natpharm) Week Ending 10 April 2020
31. Face masks 30 each " "
32. Gown(Aspace) 25 each " "
33. Medical Goggles 20 each " "
34. Shoe Covers 25 pairs " "
35. Thermometers 9 each " "
36. Hydrogen Peroxide 30 x 35kg 03/04/2020 Fossil Agro Week Ending 10 April 2020
37. Mazoe Syrups 18 x 2lt 01/04/2020 NAC Nkulumane Week Ending 17 April 2020
38. Mineral water 48 x 500ml " "
39. NAC COVID-19 Posters 500 09/04/2020 NAC Bulawayo Province Week Ending 17 April 2020
40. Disinfectant liquid 19 09/04/2020 "
41. Latex gloves 400 09/04/2020 "
42. Face Masks 5 x pack of 180 09/04/2020 Well-wisher through Cllr Mabutho Week Ending 17 April 2020
43. Bottled water 9 cases of 24 x500ml 10/04/2020 Nehemiah Project Week Ending 17 April 2020
44. Sticky stuff 1 packet " "
45. Pepsi fizzy drink 1 case of 24 x 500ml " "
46. Mirinda Fizzy drink 2 cases of 24 x 500ml " "
47. Arenel biscuits 3 cases of 12 " "
48. Sanitizers (Gel) 50 x 100ml 11/04/2020 WHO Week Ending 17 April 2020
49. Infrared Thermometres 5 " "
50. Surgical Masks 2/pack of 50 " "
51. Tablets for data collection 5 " "
52. Diesel fuel coupons 500lt " "
Airtime US$500.00 " "
54. 200 sets of protective personal equipment (400 Overalls, 400 Aprons, 2000 gloves, 2000 Dust masks , 2000 shoes covers) Donated 9 /04/2020 Handed over 23/4/2020 Old Mutual and CABS Week Ending 17 April 2020
55. Fully Equipped Borehole at Thorngrove 14/04/2020 Bravo Borehole Drillers Week Ending 17 April 2020
56. Health Workers Gowns 40 12/4/2020 Bulawayo Entertainment Industry Association Week Ending 17 April 2020
57. Groceries ZWL$25,000 21/4/2020 Amavevane Social Football Club Week Ending 24 April 2020
58. Personal Protective Equipment (Sanitisers, Surgical Masks & Gloves) 21/4/2020 Nedbank through Iam4Byo fighting against COVID-19 Week Ending 24 April 2020
59. Gas Stove, 15 kg Gas cylinder, Supply of LP Gas during the COVID19 pandemic 21/4/2020 Value Gas Week Ending 24 April 2020
60. Sanitisers, Hydrogen Peroxide & Masks, Digital Advertising Space at Bradfield shopping centre 21/4/2020 Solatek Motor spares & Digitech Advertising Week Ending 24 April 2020
61. Hydrogen Peroxide 23 April 2020 Tierra Marketing Week Ending 24 April 2020
62. Personal Protective Equipment 2.N95 masks x 400 2.Space suits x 30 3.Plastic aprons x 5 rolls 4.Googles x 20 5.Shygmometer x 5 6. Gloves x 10 boxes (500) 7. Bin liners x 10 rolls 8. Surgical Masks x 400 28/4/2020 Ezra Sibanda Initiative Week Ending 01 May 2020
63. PPE Bread 50 x 5 litres Sanitisers 84 x 2litres dishwasher 50 loaves of Bread 28 April 2020 Chicken Inn Football Club Week Ending 01 May 2020
64. Risk Communication Material 28/4/2020 Danish Church Aid Week Ending 01 May 2020
65. Clothes 2 suitcases for Ekuphumuleni Old People’s home 28 April 2020 Adelaide Shearly Week Ending 01 May 2020
66. PPE 1440 Face Masks 1000 Gloves 250ml x 20.5 litres 30/4/2020 Bulawayo Members of Parliament and Councillors Week Ending 01 May 2020
67. Handwashing Equipment and Sanitiser Units Four (4) Handwashing Equipment (1 –Thorngrove, 1 Luveve Clinic & 2 Ekusileni Hospital) Two (2) Sanitiser units 30 April 2020 Mr Chauke Week Ending 01 May 2020
68. Electric Pot 150 litres Electric Jacketed Pot 4 May 2020 Donald M Sibindi (0772 336 728) Week ending 8 May 2020
69. Personal Protective Equipment Gloves Slightly powdered MED 10 X100s Face Masks x 50 pieces 6 May 2020 Qoki Zindlovukazi (UK Based Zimbabweans) Week ending 8 May 2020

Rehabilitation of Nyamandlovu Boreholes

The City of Bulawayo is pleased that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority has started rehabilitation of the Nyamandlovu Aquifer Boreholes in an emergency programme to augment the City’s Water supply. The team started this week, following receipt of a $10.6 million grant from Government to rehabilitate 15 Boreholes. It is anticipated that that will increase water quantities from an average of 3ML/ day to 8ML/ day. The increase in the raw water supply will assist in alleviating the water challenges currently being faced.



  • Call Centre Contacts:
  • (09) 71290 - All Networks
  • callcentre@citybyo.co.zw
  • Fire and Ambulance:
  • 993, 994 , (09) 71717
  • 08080081 - Econ toll free