21-year-old becomes youngest person to die from Covid-19 in Zimbabwe

05 July 2020 - 11:43 By Lenin Ndebele
Zimbabwe is concerned about the virus being "imported" by people returning home from SA. Stock photo.
Zimbabwe is concerned about the virus being "imported" by people returning home from SA. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

The youngest person to die of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe is a 21-year-old woman from Harare with no underlying medical issues or history of travel.

This was revealed by the ministry of health and child care as the country registered 73 cases in one day on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 698 of which 509 are active. There have been 181 recoveries and eight deaths.

Fifty-five of the cases reported were of returnees from SA, three from Botswana, three from Mozambique and two from the US. There have been eight locally-transmitted cases.

The youngest person to contract Covid-19 was a four-year-old from Bulawayo who has since recovered.

The death of the 21-year-old woman could dampen the country’s resolution to open up “special economic zones” such as the tourism sector and sit-down restaurants.

Zimbabwe’s main concern is returnees from SA illegally by-passing quarantine centres.

Defence and war veterans minister Oppah Muchinguri told a parliamentary portfolio committee this week that some cases were imported after soldiers on border control let people in.

Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 fight has been worsened by a health professionals strike. The over stretched government has since deployed military nurses and doctors to hospitals to help plug the gap, however it’s not enough. 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is battling to contain internal strife. Last week the government alleged that Britain was at the forefront of sponsoring regime change through the opposition and civic society.

Zimbabwe is between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” - with the local currency battered as inflation reached 1,191% last week according to independent economists and an inactive economy due to Covid-19 lockdown measures. The Paris Club, a group of international creditors, told Harare they won’t give financial assistance before clearly set economic and political reforms.


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