Disclosing someone’s health condition without their consent has always been a crime but it’s one of those things that isn’t taken too seriously in our country.
Jimmy Mhlanga who allegedly disclosed the COVID-19 status of someone via WhatsApp might have to learn his lesson the hard way.
In addition to sharing the person’s COVID-19 status he also went on to share names of the police officers who made contact with the person.
Section 39 of the Health Act notes that a person’s health status can only be disclosed in the following cases:
- the user consents to that disclosure in writing; or
- a court order or any law requires that disclosure; or
- non~disclosure of the information represents a serious threat to public health.
Disclosing someone’s health status is a level 8 offence meaning if found guilty Mhlanga could be imprisoned for a maximum of one year or fined – or in a worst case scenario both.
That’s a long time and should be enough reason for Zimbabwean’s commenting and disclosing people’s health status on social media (something which happens a lot) to desist from the habit.