By Staff Reporter
AT LEAST 29 Zimbabweans living in the United Kingdom have died from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks, Christian Katsande, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UK has confirmed.
Most of the Zimbabweans reported to have died in that country are mostly nurses and other frontline staff working in the medical sector.
COVID-19 has killed at least 18 738 people in the UK. However, the 29 deaths confirmed by Katsande, are not official figures from the UK government.
“To date, the Embassy has not received updated information from the host government on the deaths of Zimbabweans due to COVID-19, understandably because the British government has explained that it is currently seized with implementing measures to contain the pandemic. They have promised to provide detailed information as soon as it is possible,” Katsande said in a statement.
“(The embassy) has been able to gather information from the Diaspora community and religious leaders, cluster leaders, affected individuals, and the media, on Zimbabweans who have passed on due to COVID-19”.
The ambassador went on to appreciate the US$43,6 million COVID-19 aid package that the UK government donated to Zimbabwe this week.
Zimbabwe has 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases including four deaths.
“British government recently announced a US$43,6 million aid package towards COVID-19 medical supplies to assist in fighting the pandemic in Zimbabwe. This generous gesture, among others, is indicative of the growing bilateral and diplomatic relations between the two countries,” said Katsande.
The ambassador said he had established platforms to interact with all Zimbabweans in the UK and this had also assisted in the compilation of COVID-19 statistics.
“The Embassy also provides documents required for the repatriation of deceased nationals, particularly those who passed on without adequate Zimbabwean documents.”
Early this week, Zimbabwe received 65 citizens returning from the UK. Last week, another 30 returned home. All the arrivals are currently housed at quarantine centres to check on their COVID-19 status.