Harare (New Ziana)-There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Zimbabwe yet, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo told Parliament on Thursday.
The statement comes after a Zimbabwean woman who arrived in Harare on Tuesday from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of COVID-19, got detained in isolation at Wilkins Hospital in the capital as a preventative measure against the deadly virus.
Tests later showed that she was negative to coronavirus.
Presenting a Ministerial statement on the country’s preparedness to manage the COVID-19 deadly virus, Dr Moyo assured the nation that there was no coronavirus in the country.
“As of today (Thursday), there are no cases of coronavirus in Zimbabwe. We can guarantee the nation that there is no coronavirus in Zimbabwe,” he said.
On the case of the Zimbabwean woman, who was discharged after she was found to be coronavirus free, Dr Moyo said she remained under monitoring for 21 days.
“She was detected at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. This shows that our system is working well and it’s a sign of good preparedness,” he said.
“We will however continue to monitor this candidate for the 21- day period,” he added.
Dr Moyo said over 3 000 Zimbabweans had returned home from China since last month and were being monitored.
Of these, about 2 000 were students studying in the Asian country.
Dr Moyo said the government was in the process of disbursing US$5.2 million to boost the country’s preparedness to fight coronavirus, in the event that it gets to Zimbabwe.
Harare East legislator Tendai Biti was however not amused with the budgetary allocation towards coronavirus.
“US$5.2 million is petty cash,” he said.
The virus has killed about 2 000 people and infected thousands others in China and several other countries around the world.
Zimbabwe has put in place tight contingent measures, including isolation and treatment facilities in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, to tackle the virus in case of a local outbreak.
According to the World Health Organisation, in confirmed cases in humans, common symptoms of COVID-19 have been serious respiratory difficulties with fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
Based on current clinical experience, the virus generally presents as pneumonia.