By Anna Chibamu
HEALTH and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo has allayed fears of a coronavirus outbreak in Zimbabwe in an address in which he also reported over 2 000 Zimbabwean students returning from China have been placed on self-quarantine for a 21 days.
He was addressing MPs in parliament Thursday.
This was after legislators had requested for an update from the minister over the status of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19 disease) in the country in the wake of Wednesday reports a Zimbabwean coronavirus suspect had been quarantined for testing.
Moyo told the august house that 3 373 people who have passed through the country’s ports of entry as of Wednesday have had to be placed on self-quarantine.
“As of Wednesday 19 February 2020, 3 373 who have passed through our ports of entry had to be placed on self-quarantine,” MMoyo said.
“Of these, 2 000 are Zimbabwean students who were studying in China and are on self-quarantine.
“Zimbabwe students in China are safe and are being provided with food and lessons available.”
Health Minister Obadiah Moyo says Zimbabwe free from Coronavirus
Posted by New Zimbabwe.com on Thursday, February 20, 2020
Referring to the suspected case of the coronavirus in Harare’s Wilkins Hospital on Wednesday, Moyo told the house the Zimbabwean traveller from China had tested negative with China confirming the same.
“There are no cases of coronavirus in Zimbabwe,” said the minister.
“I can safely confirm that a female Zimbabwean traveller was identified through our surveillance system at Robert Mugabe International Airport having noted that she had shown symptoms of the Covid-19 disease and had to be immediately isolated.
“To me, this shows our system is working well and it is a sign of good reference. Our laboratory for coronavirus testing is fully functional. Our scientists have managed to test the traveller and confirmed to the negative of coronavirus and so has China. So, we can guarantee the nation that there is no corona virus in Zimbabwe.”
The minister also reported that the spread of the virus was so rapid to the extent that as of Wednesday, some 75 204 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported worldwide from last week’s 28 000 and another 1 872 new cases recorded.
He expressed concern over the rapid rate of the spread of the virus of which 74 280 were all from China.
Some 25 world countries have recorded 924 cases and three deaths with a case from Egypt.
According to Moyo, Covid-19 has no vaccine yet but some tests done have shown anti-retroviral drugs such as Alletra (a combination drug of lenova and retronoven) can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.