City of Gweru has refuted social media rumours to the effect that there is a typhoid outbreak in Mkoba 19, saying a family suspected to have contracted the water-borne disease had tested negative.
Speaking at a briefing with residents and the media on Tuesday, City of Gweru health services director Samson Sekenhamo said the family was tested at Gweru General Hospital.
“The rumours got people scared and many residents called us to verify. We did the tests on the family members and the water sources but no bacteria of that nature was detected.
“They were suffered from diarrhoea after eating stale food that had been overheated at a funeral. Much food had been cooked for mourners so there were lots of left overs. We therefore want to assure our residents that the social media reports are false,” said Sekenhamo.
He said the city had increased its water sampling sites to 72, adding that the samples are always sent to government analysts and to another testing facility in Bulawayo.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Cleopas Shiri said council had begun water-rationing to ensure a more equitable distribution of the precious resource among residents of all suburbs.
“The water-rationing process ensures that such places as Mkoba 19 and 20, which are on higher ground than other suburbs, also get their fair share of water. Yes, Gwenhoro Dam carries below eight months’ water supply but we have flighted tenders for Amapongokwe pumps and once secured, we will install them to improve supply,” said Shiri.
Authorities have urged ambulance services and funeral parlours to notify council of any infectious disease outbreak to ensure quicker reaction.