Zimbabwe confirms first Covid-19 case
Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe on Friday registered its first Covid-19 case, a foreign national who had recently returned from Britain where it is suspected he got infected.
Minister of Health and Child Care, Obadiah Moyo, said the man travelled to Britain on March 7 and returned to Zimbabwe a week later via South Africa, and mandatorily self-quarantined on arrival.
He felt sick days later while in self-quarantine, prompting health authorities to test him for Covid-19, which turned positive, becoming the first case in the country.
“Today, 20 March 2020, National Microbiology Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Central (hospital) confirms that a suspected case of Covid-19 had tested positive. This is the first case of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe,” Moyo said.
“The patient is a 38 year old Caucasian male and resident of Victoria Falls who had travelled to Manchester, United Kingdom on 7 March and returned to his home in Victoria Falls on 15 March via South Africa,” he added.
He said since arrival back in Zimbabwe, up to the time of illness, the unidentified man had been in self-isolation at his home, which should have limited the spread of infection.
Zimbabwe has set up state of the art testing and quarantine facilities in the country, including in Victoria Falls, and also taken stringent other precautionary measures.
“As a result of our preparedness, we managed to identify this first case in a timely fashion and ensure that he was appropriately managed,” Moyo said.
Part of the Covid-19 precautionary measures taken include shutting down all of the country’s small border entry points and schools, colleges and universities.
The authorities have also banned large gatherings exceeding 100 people.