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UK tourist tests positive for coronavirus after visiting Zimbabwe

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By Leopold Munhende

A United Kingdom tourist who visited Victoria Falls and areas around the resort town early this month before leaving for Kruger National Park in South Africa has tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival in the UK.

This was revealed in an update on anti-coronavirus measures Monday by Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.

The minister said a ministry response unit has since cordoned off a lodge in Victoria Falls where the unnamed tourist was staying.

Moyo said cabinet will Tuesday discuss possibilities of closing the country’s borders.

“Today we received another alert that there is a tourist who came to Victoria Falls on the 7th of March and departed on the 10th back to the UK,” he said.

“They went via South Africa, stayed at Kruger Park a few days and then left for the UK where they were picked up and tested positive.

“Our rapid response team has gone to the particular lodge where they were staying in Victoria Falls and we are having to deal with that issue while we wait for results.

“It is another place we have had to cordon off.”

Moyo told journalists they are yet to make a decision to close Zimbabwe’s borders and schools much like what South Africa, Uganda and Kenya have done to contain calamity.

Added the minister: “We are still at zero Covid-19, that is the situation we are in right now, other countries have not rushed to bring out drastic measures, we are learning from the others what they have done.

“Tomorrow is cabinet day and we are going to be discussing and you will have more details in relation to the measures we are going to take.

“We are still concerned about issues to do with personal hygiene, those big things like closing of schools and borders will be discussed in cabinet.

“We do not want to rush there since we are not there yet.”

Africa had up until recently been spared from the virus until Egypt recorded its first case.

Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, DRC, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sudan and Ethiopia have recorded varied numbers of positive cases.

Zimbabwe is yet to record any confirmed case of the pandemic that has claimed some 5 000 across the world and infected some 135 000.

There is mounting pressure on health authorities and President Emmerson Mnangagwa to close schools and the country’s borders before it is too late.