A Zimbabwean man was taken to court for disclosing another person’s Covid-19 positive status on social media, local media reported.
State-owned newspaper The Herald said in the first case of its kind a Harare man, 40-year-old Jimmy Mhlanga, was charged after revealing someone’s Covid-19 positive status in a WhatsApp group in contravention of Zimbabwe’s Public Health Act which provides for patient confidentiality.
The State alleges that Mhlanga used his mobile phone to disclose the woman’s status and other personal details and also revealed the details of police officers suspected to have had contact with the patient on a WhatsApp platform group called ‘Think Tank No under 18.’
He disclosed the information without the consent of the patient.
The cellphone used to commit the crime was recovered from him and the WhatsApp message is being held as evidence.
Members of the group who received the message will be called as state witnesses.
The man was granted ZW$500 (about R25) bail and his case was postponed to June 4.
Meanwhile independent daily newspaper Newsday, reported that 89 Zimbabweans quarantined at the border town of Beitbridge after returning from neighbouring South Africa were on Tuesday released without receiving their final Covid-19 test results.
They included eight recently contracted government environmental health technicians, eight truck drivers, a prison warden who had gone on a shopping trip and a policeman who also had travelled to South Africa.
“They said our results will be brought home and we are expected to be isolated at home until results come,” one of the group told the newspaper.