Zimbabwe cornered, as neighbours Zambia, South Africa confirm COVID-19 cases

THE DREADED COVID-19 reached closer to Zimbabwe on Wednesday as the country’s neighbour Zambia announced it’s first confirmed coronavirus case before that number quickly doubled.

Largely unprepared, compounded by weak detecting systems, Zimbabwe has somehow managed to maintain a clean slate in so far as not having any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

At the same time, the deaths toll across the planet reached towards 7,150 with European nations headed into lockdown.

Closer to Zimbabwe, Zambia’s Minister of health Chitalu Chilufya on Wednesday said the country had confirmed two cases of the dreaded coronavirus.

Chitalu said the two people who tested positive travelled from France are now quarantined.

Elsewhere, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a series of drastic measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Gatherings of more than 100 people were prohibited while the population was advised to minimise contact with others.

South Africa had 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths by Wednesday morning.

As for Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday announced similar measures as his South African counterpart as the country appeared to take precautions.

Mnangagwa called for stronger surveillance at ports of entry,suspended the 2020 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (2020 ZITF), independence celebrations, international sporting activities and gatherings of more than 100 people.

Funds initially budgeted for the independence celebrations and the 2020 ZITF will now be diverted to the fight against COVID-19, Mnangagwa said.

Government also called for voluntary curtailment of movement especially to, from and through virus epicentres while all hospitals and health institutions have been put on high alert.

Mnangagwa on Wednesday surprisingly held a political rally barely 24 hours after he banned all public gatherings.