Bulawayo City Council

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Mayor's Report on Covid-19






i. Introduction

The City of Bulawayo as at Thursday, 23 April 2020 had 10 positive cases and one death. The City continues to conduct surveillance, contact tracing and education of the community. The report below highlights the various activities that are taking place in the City in the fight against COVID-19. The National Lockdown was extended this week with effect from Monday, 20 April 2020 and is expected to end on the 3rd May 2020 (2 weeks).

As we continue on our activities, I would like to further appreciate the various stakeholders and donors and partner organisations that have come forward to work with the City of Bulawayo in fighting COVID-19.

City of Bulawayo
Outbreak Name COVID-19 Area on Alert City of Bulawayo
Date / Time of report 23 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


  • Globally 2 160 207 confirmed (85 678) and 146 088 deaths (6 710) Source: WHO SitRep 89, as of 1000hrs CEST 18 April 2020
  • In Africa a total of 13 104 confirmed (744), and 616 deaths (30) Source: WHO SitRep 85, as of 1000hrs CET 15 April 2020
  • Nationally a cumulative of 25 confirmed cases (1) and 3 deaths (0) Source: Zimbabwe MoHCC Update issued 19 April 2020
  • In Bulawayo ten cases (0) and 1 death (0)
  • Source: City of Bulawayo: Health Services Department Report of 22 April 2020


The City now has 10 Confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Zim case # Byo case # Diagnosed Travel Detail Possible Contact Status
11 1 07 April 2020 Nil M/79 Case X, traveller from UK Deceased
14 2 11 April 2020 Nil M/53 Case X, traveller from UK Mild Disease
unrecorded Case X 12 April 2020 UK M/70 UK Recovered
15 3 13 April 2020 Nil M/34 Not yet known Mild Disease
16 4 13 April 2020 Nil M/52 Zim case 11 Mild Disease
17 5 13 April 2020 Nil F/79 Zim case 11 Mild Disease
19 6 15 April 2020 Nil F/4 Zim case 16 Mild Disease
20 7 15 April 2020 Nil F/10 Zim case 16 Mild Disease
21 8 15 April 2020 Nil F/34 Zim case 16 Mild Disease
22 9 15 April 2020 Nil F/16 Zim case 16 Mild Disease
23 10 15 April 2020 Nil F/52 Zim case 15 No symptoms

Since the first Bulawayo case was diagnosed on the 7th April 2020, contact tracing done according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care Guidelines, showed the primary case (Case X) had been a visitor who arrived in the city from UK, tested negative for the virus itself but positive for the antibodies of the virus. Eight cases were epidemiologically linked to this case.

As the Rapid Response Teams continued investigations, they discovered an unrelated case of a 34 year old (Case 15Zim / Case 3Byo) that had very mild symptoms and is linked to the tenth case.


The City of Bulawayo has different thematic teams participating in the response for COVID 19.

The Health Services

Department gets daily updates through meetings and electronic forms.

On escalating the response, the Bulawayo City Council 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 remains 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 on the numbers:

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

The National Lockdown was extended by a further 14 days so as to be effective from the 30th of March to end on the 3rd of May 2020.


Disinfection of the Central Business District 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 (illegal public drinking and money changing) Avenue and the Railway Station.

The amount of chemical used was 450 litres of hydrogen peroxide. The schedule for disinfection was further conducted as follows:

  • Thursday 16 April - Nkulumane Complex, Sekusile, Bullet, Manemo Nketa 6, 7 ,8 and 9 shopping centres, Emganwini (Food 4 Less and Tashas)
  • Friday 17 April - Renkini, Makokoba Mkambo Entumbane Complex and Long Distance Terminus, Zothile Shopping Centre, Nhliziyo Shopping centre Emakhandeni Shopping Centre, Cowdray Park
  • Monday 20th April – Entumbane Complex, Emakhandeni and surrounding areas Sanitization of the environment is to complement washing of hands, social distancing, cough etiquette etc. Disinfection of the other parts of the City will continue.


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 RRTs have followed up more than 200 scares consisting of people complaining of COVID-19 related epidemiological link signs and symptoms.

Of those, 196 specimens of people that fit the case definition were collected and sent to the laboratories for testing for the virus and 186 were negative.

Initially, the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) at the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare performed all the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing to identify the virus and in general the turn-around time for results was approximately 48 hours

The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Applied Genetic Testing Centre (AGTC) working from the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTBRL) started testing using the same method (RT-PCR) on the 11th April 2020.

By 08:00hrs, BCC RRTs had conducted a total on 23 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) which detect antibodies (i.e. immunoglobulin IgM & IgG) and only 1 was positive, for an unrecorded traveller whom we deduce to be our primary case (Case X). This traveller tested negative for the virus (RT-PCR), but has plausible epidemiological link to our first 2 confirmed cases in Bulawayo.

More than 100 people contacted the call centre between 19 March 2020 and 20 April 2020 with COVID-19 related complaints. The screening of all rumours and follow ups of suspected cases received via the Call centre is ongoing. Of the 10 PCR confirmed and Case X COVID-19 cases in Bulawayo, a total of 136 contacts had since been identified, classified and followed up.

The primary case (Case X) was imported from United Kingdom (UK). Efforts to prudently implement effective outbreak containment measures are ongoing.

On Surveillance, the total number of travellers that had come into Bulawayo from areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases and possibly active local transmission is 1774.

A total of 1693 (95.4% up from 70 % last week) travellers that arrived from COVID-19 affected areas between February and March 2020 have since been followed up by Environmental Health Personnel. And 1686 (95%) were followed up at least once physically, and later telephonically and were all asymptomatic by day 21. Updated lists of travellers from Ports of Entry (PoE) have since been received and follow ups are ongoing.

As of 21st April 2020 at least 252 male and 160 female deportees from Botswana were housed at the Bulawayo Polytechnic and United College of Education respectively. As per guidance from National level, RRTs commenced screening them.


A World Health Organisation (WHO) crafted case definition which includes all age groups is being used. The city has diagnosed 10 cases of Covid-19 by 20th April 2020.

The City has had one case deceased while 9 cases are stable and in strict self-isolation.

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.

Areas of possible isolation of mild or asymptomatic cases such as Elangeni Training Centre and Hillside Teachers’ College have been done.

The Thorngrove Hospital (TGH) isolation ward was able to cater for 20 to 40 patients. More renovations are at the initial phases and supported by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and other partners.


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.

A letter with contact details of all those in the response team has been given to the Call Centre for relay of calls.

To supplement the SMS platforms, WhatsApp videos as well as IEC material being distributed. Radio sessions with Skyz Metro FM and Khulumani FM are lined up and ongoing. Updates were sent to The Chronicle, Sunday News, Star FM, Voice of America, Skyz Metro, Khulumani FM, Star FM and online Centre for Innovation Technology (CITE).

Social Media: Videos and Posters in English and Ndebele shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp Mobile Applications: The City of Bulawayo is working with Sila Health, an African healthcare startup company with co-founders from the City of Kings in sharing and collecting information on COVID-19 towards its fight against COVID-19.

The application, named Sis Joyce, provides 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. The application uses Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Radio Programs: Radio programmes in (Ndebele) with Khulumani FM and Skyz Metro FM are running weekly. The talk show recording is done with emphasis on the following thematic areas; Case management, Risk Communication and Surveillance. The City is also participating in radio programmes hosted by partner organisations. Adverts have shared with the local radio stations.

Print IEC material distributed: Pamphlets: 3800 (300 new), Posters: 1900 (500 new)

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

Covid-19 Campaign during Lockdown: In the week 31 March 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 PA system was used to disseminate information. This week a hailer and PA system were used to disseminate information with assistance from ambulance services.

Teams comprised of the City Health Department, Public Relations, Ambulance Services, National AIDS Council and Nehemiah project.

Areas Covered were as follows:

The last week : CBD, Entumbane, Entumbane Complex, Cowdray Park, Nguboyenja, Makokoba, Renkini, Thorngrove, Bradfield Shopping Centre, Malindela, Bradfield, Hillside, Ilanda, Nketa 6, Nketa 7, Nketa 8, Nketa 9, , Nkulumane (Sekusile), Nkulumane Complex, Tshabalala extension, Harrisvale, Mzilikazi, Lockview, Waterford, Manningdale, Leeside Shopping Centre, Woodlands, Ascot Shopping Centre, Pumula North, Pumula East, Old Pumula, Old Magwegwe, Selborne Park, Matsheumhlophe, Mpopoma, Old Nic Mine and Killarney Squatter Settlement

Estimated Population reached

  • 88 850 (13 300 this week)

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 3 x 10kg " "
7. Winna Rice parboiled 2 x 5kg " "
8. Gold rice parboiled rice 1 x 1 kg " "
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 " " 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 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 COVID1-9 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

ii. Water Supply Situation

The City continues to be affected by water supply challenges. As at Thursday, 23 April 2020 the City’s water supply dams were at 31.42% with two dams still decommissioned and Lower Ncema earmarked for decommissioning in May 2020. The City has been faced with challenges of high consumption over the past days.

The consumption has been in the ranges of 150 ML/day against the system input of 90ML/day.

The City notes that with these challenges we will deplete water sources faster than anticipated and we will have challenges in supplying water to the residents.

As such Council has proposed a new 120 hour weekly water shedding programme with effect from Monday, 27 April 2020. The programme will be hard on the residents of the City of Kings, but these are a means to continue with equitable supply of water to all residential areas.

It is also a means to push our limited resources to the next rainy season and also while we work on the finalisation of water augmentation projects.

iii. Financial Situation

The collection of revenue is greatly reduced to an extent that Council may not be able to support the COVID- 19 pandemic control and management initiatives.

The procurement of PPEs, collection of refuse, provision of water supplies and payment of salaries may not be possible unless there is budget support by Government from the estimates of expenditure set aside for fight against the pandemic.


We continue to urge residents to adhere to the national lockdown. This is because it is key in breaking the cycle of the spread of COVID-19. We further encourage social distancing and good hygiene practices.

If we adhere to the recommendations made by the health teams we will combat COVID-19 in Bulawayo.



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