Bulawayo City Council

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Mayor's Report on Covid-19






i Introduction

The City and the rest of the country has entered the third week of the national lockdown. It is unfortunate that we have seen a rise in cases in Bulawayo. As at 14 April 2020, the City of Bulawayo has had 5 clients with positive results and one death.

Bulawayo City Council Mayors Report 7
Outbreak Name COVID-19 Area on Alert City of Bulawayo
Date / Time of report 15 April 2020 / 0800hrs 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 a total of 1 521 252 confirmed (85 054) and 92 798 deaths (7 277) Source: WHO SitRep 81, as of 1000hrs CET 10 April 2020
  • In Africa a total of 8789 confirmed (452), and 382 deaths (101) Source: WHO SitRep 81, as of 1000hrs CET 10 April 2020
  • Nationally a cumulative of 17 cases (2) and 3 deaths (0) Source: Zimbabwe MoHCC Update issued 14 April 2020
  • In Bulawayo five cases (5) and 1 death (1) Source: This City of Bulawayo: Health Services Department 15 April 2020


Our first case was a 79 year old admitted at a local hospital on the 2nd of April 2020 with symptoms of coughing, difficulty in breathing, a sore throat and a fever. He was managed by oxygen and other appropriate medication and the test for COVID-19 was positive. He passed on the 4th April 2020 and disinfection protocols instituted. The body was cremated. Contact tracing was done by the City of Bulawayo according to the Ministry of Health and Child care Guidelines.

  1. The index case had been a visitor who arrived in the city from the United Kingdom. Currently he has tested negative for the virus but has however tested positive for the antibodies of the virus.
  2. A 70 year old relative of the index case, within the same household was also confirmed and he is having mild symptoms.
  3. Another 52 year old lady contact, who cared for our first case has tested positive and is now in isolation.
  4. A 79 year old lady from the same residential compound has also tested positive.
  5. As the Rapid Response Teams continued investigations, they discovered another unrelated case of a 34 year old that had fever and currently has mild disease. We are currently in the process of ascertaining the primary case for the patient. Among the possibilities is her landlord who had recently visited Bulawayo and she may have contracted the disease from them.


The Bulawayo City Council has thematic teams coordinating the response are as follows. The Health Services Department holds meetings daily and through electronic forms.

On escalating the response, the BCC staff take part and make reports on activities as coordinated by the Provincial Minister of State Honourable J Ncube.

A call out roster for staff remained in place and is enhanced by a WhatsApp group chat. Daily meetings are now complemented by electronic media platforms to ensure teams are updated. The BCC Call Centre (backed by resources persons) is called for any information or services relating to COVID-19 on the following numbers:

  1. 08084700 (Econet Numbers Only)
  2. 08004700 (TelOne Numbers Only)
  3. 263-2922 71290 (All Networks)
  4. 263-774 668 432 (WhatsApp Only)

This was reinforced by the 21 day National Lockdown from the 30 of March to the 20th of April 2020.


Disinfection of the CBD has been done and the areas targeted were the ZUPCO termini, market, Tredgold area and spaces where there are usually high volumes of human traffic such as Max Garage, George Silundika Avenue (illegal public drinking and money changing) and the Railway Station. The amount of chemical used was 450 litres of hydrogen peroxide. The programme is going to be rolled out to the western suburbs in the week beginning 13 April 2020. It will target shopping centres and termini.

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


A total number of 67 people telephoned whilst 74 had sent WhatsApp messages to the Call Centre requesting for COVID-19 related assistance or information. The follow up of all these have been done.

The revised total number of travellers that have come into Bulawayo from areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases and possibly active local transmission is 1758 from 1125 reported last week. A total of 1354 (77%) travellers that arrived from COVID-19 affected areas between February and April 2020 have since been followed up by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) in Bulawayo.

The surveillance is still ongoing.

Matabeleland South province sent 192 males to Bulawayo Polytechnic and 100 females to United College of Education who were deported from Botswana.

The map below shows a spatial distribution of travellers that arrived into the city from COVID-19 affected areas.

The area with the highest number of travellers under surveillance is Suburbs (shown below).

From the spatial map there has been increased awareness through our Health Education for the communities to adhere to the lockdown in order to break the chain of transmission


Distribution of travellers by Place (Destination)


A WHO case definition which includes all age groups is being used.

The city has diagnosed 5 case of Covid-19 by 15th April 2020.

The Thorngrove Hospital (TGH) isolation ward is able to cater for 20 to 40 patients but there is currently risk of darkness, should there be electricity cuts at night. Equipment for setting up solar power system back up was received on 10th April 2020 from a company called Chloride Zimbabwe, and work is ongoing to ensure alternative power for the Hospital. The isolation ward needs a water augmentation system. Partitioning of the ward to suit Covid-19 was completed on the 9th of April 2020.

The citywide clinics have been trained to triage patients, ellicit 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. Areas of possible isolation of mild or asymptomatic cases such as Elangeni Training Centre and Hillside Teachers’ College have been inspected.


Social Media: Videos and Posters in English and Ndebele shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp

Radio Programs: Radio programmes (Ndebele) with Skyz Metro FM through the City of Bulawayo’s weekly programme City Matters/ Nyawolunye Lezakhamizi. The talk show recordings are done with emphasis on the following thematic areas; Case management, Risk Communication and Surveillance for local radio station (Skyz Metro FM) and ZBC.

Print IEC material distributed: Pamphlets: 3500, Posters: 1400.

Health Education Sessions in Health Facilities: Health Education sessions on Covid-19 conducted on daily basis in all clinics.

Covid-19 Campaign during Lockdown: 31March to 3 April 2020: The City embarked on a Covid-19 campaign covering all the three (3) administrative divisions in the city. Planning of the campaign and execution of the task involved Ministry of Information Media and Broadcasting personnel, Population Services International, National AIDs Council and Bulawayo City Council Staff (Health Services personnel and the Public Relations Officers). A hailer and Public Address system was used to disseminate information

Key messages disseminated

  • What Covid-19 is, and the signs and symptoms of Covid-19
  • 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
  • Myths and Misconceptions about the disease corrected
  • Contact details of Bulawayo City council Call centre to use in case of suspected Covid-19

Areas Covered to date as follows:

CBD, Khami Road, Renkini Bus Terminus, Makokoba, Mzilikazi, Barbourfields, Nguboyenja, Thorngrove, Burombo Hostels, Northend, BMC Hostels ,Vundu Flats, Jabulani Flats, Mpopoma, Matshobana, Pumula old, Pumula South, Pumula East. Pumula North, Old Magwegwe, Magwegwe North, Emganwini, Nkulumane, Sizinda, Tshabalala, Pelandaba, Sidojiwe Flats, Emakhandeni, Entumbane, Cowdray Park, Ngozi Mine, New Lobengula, Lobengula west and New Magwegwe

Donations and Equipment Received to date


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 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

ii. Water Supply Situation

The City continues to be affected by water supply challenges.

As at Wednesday, 15 April 2020 the City’s water supply dams are at 31.73% with two dams still decommissioned and Lower Ncema earmarked for decommissioning in May 2020.

The City last week introduced the 108 hour water shedding programme.

The drawing of raw water from the dams is increasingly becoming a challenge, and to that effect, Council reviewed the schedule from 96 hours to will introduce a 108 hour shedding programme with effect from Wednesday, 8 April 2020.

The City of Bulawayo still awaits the declaration by Government of Bulawayo as a water shortage area so that we get the urgent support in water augmentation projects to increase water supply in the City.

It is important that at this point in time, the residents of the City recognise the dire state that Bulawayo is in.

After the decommissioning of the Lower Ncema in May 2020, only 60 - 65 Mℓ/day of raw water will be available for the City from three supply (3) dams and Nyamandlovu aquifer.

We continue to lobby government to avail raw water sources for Bulawayo so that we ensure adequate water for the residents.

We also urge residents to continue to save water.

The City of Bulawayo would like to urge the resident to adhere to the national lockdown.

It should be noted that the lockdown prescribes staying at home and indoors and reducing interaction with others in order to break the chain of COVID-19 spread.

In case one needs to leave the household, you are encouraged to practice social distancing and good hygiene practices to prevent the spread and contracting of COVID-19.




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