Zimbabwe reports first coronavirus case

20 March 2020 - 22:06 By AFP
A health worker wears a protective suit during a demonstration of preparations for any coronavirus cases at a hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, on March 5 2020.
A health worker wears a protective suit during a demonstration of preparations for any coronavirus cases at a hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, on March 5 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe on Friday reported its first coronavirus case, a man who returned to his home in the tourist resort town of Victoria Falls from Britain at the weekend.

"This is the first case of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe," said Health Minister Obadiah Moyo on state television ZTV.

"The patient is a 38-year-old Caucasian man ... who had travelled to Manchester in the UK on the 7th of March and returned to his home in Victoria Falls on the 15th of March via South Africa," he said.

The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday announced a raft of steps to prevent the virus from spreading - including the cancellation of public and sporting events, and constraints on gatherings. Schools will close on Tuesday.

The country's public health system, meanwhile, has been suffering for years from a lack of equipment and drugs.

It came under further strain last year when hundreds of junior doctors at state hospitals staged a three-month strike over conditions and pay - which then was less than $200 a month.


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