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Zim places 741 on coronavirus surveillance


Harare(New Ziana)-At least 741 visitors are now under surveillance for coronavirus after they arrived in Zimbabwe from countries affected by the disease, a Cabinet Minister said on Wednesday.

Placement of people on the watch list is intended to monitor their health, and this is being done from their homes.

Addressing an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce meeting on coronavirus, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said the surveillance was a necessary precaution as the disease had claimed almost 500 lives in China.

“Yesterday we were talking of 506 visitors who are being followed who had come from affected countries. Today the figure has gone up, we are now at 741 travelers from affected countries who have passed through our ports of entry,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Africa so far.

During a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Dr Moyo said the government was procuring coronavirus test kits and other related equipment, to beef up screening facilities at the country’s ports of entry.

“We have thermo detectors for the purposes of screening, checking on fevers which are one of the major symptoms.

“We have luckily enough been approached by Mimosa Mine, they have decided to donate equipment for all our airports-thermo detectors, which is highly appreciated. Right now as we speak, they went with one of our Environmental Health Officers and the Director to South Africa where they are shopping for all this equipment.

“That new equipment will be put at the airports. This is now the latest technology in thermo detection so that we do not miss any case at all,” he said.

Dr Moyo said procuring of testing kits was also in progress.

“We have the equipment in our laboratories but they do not have the relevant test kits specifically for this 2019 novel coronavirus. There are kits which have been developed in China and we are in the process of acquiring those. They should be here anytime,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, in confirmed cases of illness in humans, common symptoms of coronavirus have been serious respiratory illness with fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

Based on current clinical experience, the infection generally presents as pneumonia.

New Ziana

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