A PREGNANT woman from Hwange in Matabeleland North recently lost her job and has become homeless with her two minor children after being abandoned by her boyfriend and family because she tested positive to Covid-19.
An ambulance crew picked her from the streets on a freezing Monday night with her children aged six and nine, who are not infected with the virus. She is now housed at an isolation centre with the children.
Her heartbreaking story exposes how some communities still stigmatise people infected with the coronavirus, more than 15 months after it hit the country.
The woman whose identity has been withheld for ethical reasons, tested Covid-19 positive upon visiting Lukosi Hospital in Hwange to receive prenatal care.
Sources said the woman was a maid at Baobab low density suburb but her employer was the first to chuck her out. She moved to her mother’s home in Mpumalanga DRC section where she was also chased away.
The woman is said to have sought refuge at her live-in boyfriend’s home in Mpumalanga suburb where she was also chased away. A Hwange Local Board (HLB) ambulance crew located her on the street after an anonymous tip-off.
“HLB officials took her to the council clinic where she slept overnight before she was taken to Five Miles Isolation Centre where she is now quarantined. The isolation centre is not ready to attend to any patient at the moment so the woman has to cook for herself and her children. There is no food and none of her relatives have come to assist her. Her live-in boyfriend came once and promised to return for the children. He has not been heard from ever since.
There is a real risk that she might even infect her children with Covid-19. She had to be rescued by well-wishers who had to bring food for her to cook at the facility,” said a source.
Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Musinami confirmed the case.