Reports from Burundi claim that three people have died from a disease that showed all signs and symptoms similar to those displayed by patients of Covid-19 caused by Coronavirus.
On Monday the Health Ministry admitted it was treating a couple at Prince Régent Charles Hospital after they exhibited signs similar to those of Covid-19 patients.
Government said it had a very suspicious case at the hospital and had deployed a multidisciplinary team made up of doctors, laboratory technicians and hygienists to the site for a thorough investigation.
“Indeed, it is a 35 year old man of Burundian nationality who lives in Buterere, Nyarumanga site at 6th Avenue. He had travelled to Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on March 04, 2020 and returned to Burundi on March 8, 2020,” reads part of a communiqué released on Monday by the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS.
Tanzania on March 16 confirmed her first case of COVID-19 at the government-run Mt. Meru Hospital in the Centre of Arusha the tourism capital.
The Ministry further revealed that on March 20, 2020, his 24-year-old wife developed a fever with dry cough and asthenia, and immediately the couple consulted Prince Regent Charles Hospital located in Buyenzi.
Government said both patients did not test positive to the Covid-19. But Itara Burundi reports that three persons have succumbed to the deadly coronavirus.
“Three people with symptoms of Covid-19 died without being diagnosed with the pandemic,” reports Itara Burundi an online news web.
“Families of the deceased would be intimidated by the health authorities and also would be punished if they revealed this kind of information. The last one died on March 25, 2020,” the website said on Wednesday.
The death of these patients could have sparked panic in government and prompted President Pierre Nkurunziza to summon his Ministers for an extraordinary cabinet meeting at Ntare Rushatsi House.
Cabinet meeting was presided over by President Nkurunziza and the agenda was “Reorganization and Operation of the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management.”
Burundi is said to lack testing kits and support equipment and drugs in handling Coronavirus infected patients.
Doctors decry lack of face-masks and risk contamination.
Burundi has been isolated from the world since 2015 after President Nkurunziza was overthrown in a bloody military coup while he was away in neighbouring Tanzania.
He returned and managed to neutralise the coup and since the country has descended onto its knees resulting in several deaths.
Hundrends of thousands fled the country escaping targeted ethnic killings conducted by government sponsored Imbonerakure militia.
A big part of Burundians are opposed to attempts by Nkurunziza to seek a third term.