Ministry of Health and Child Care CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: 10 MARCH 2020
As of the 9th March 2020, 109 577 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3 809 deaths (Case Fatality Rate 3.5%) have been reported from 105 countries globally. The majority of these are from China. The number of African countries who have reported confirmed cases has increased to nine (Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Togo and Nigeria).
To date, there is NO confirmed case of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
In a meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health held today, the Ministry advised Parliamentarians to remain vigilant as the risk is still very high and hence the need to continue taking precautionary measures. Today Cabinet was also briefed on the latest situation regarding COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
The National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan which incorporated global and regional updates on COVID-19 outbreak is currently being updated and finalised with technical support from the World Health Organization (WHO) to include the most recent WHO guidance and lessons learned from China which has successfully implemented response activities to COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care continues to be guided by and follow WHO guidelines and advice on COVID-19 surveillance, follow up and case management.
Regarding the 26-year old Thai man who had absconded from Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital, we would like to advise the nation that he is now back at Wilkins and samples for the COVID-19 test have been collected. We now await the results and will update the nation accordingly.
We also report a traveller from the United Kingdom who was attended to by a private practitioner in Hwange district this week with respiratory symptoms (cough, chest pain, difficulty in breathing).
This patient was then referred to Victoria Falls Hospital as a “suspected case of COVID-19. However, on admission at Victoria Falls Hospital, this patient did not meet the case definition according to WHO.
The health care workers at Victoria Falls were confident to clinically manage her as a case of pneumonia and she has since recovered on oral antibiotic treatment.
Again, the Ministry would like to reassure the nation that to date, there is NO confirmed case of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
Recommendations: The Ministry would once again like to advise the public to exercise good personal hygiene (frequent washing of hands with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing etc). Additionally, all travellers are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travels to and from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
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