Zim Covid-19 cases shoot to 174 amid local infections by returnees

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE’S confirmed Covid-19 cases have risen to 174 amid reports some infected returning residents have spread the virus to seven locals.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said 14 more citizens were confirmed positive with the virus following another round of tests conducted Saturday.

“Fourteen cases tested positive for Covid19 today. These include 7 returnees: South Africa 5, Botswana 1, United Kingdom 1 and seven local cases who are all isolated.

“The seven local cases being reported today and the two mentioned in yesterday’s report are contacts of known confirmed cases,” said the ministry.

On the same day, government said 365 RDT screening tests and 666 PCR tests were done.

The cumulative number of tests done to date is 44 635 (27 109 RDT and 17 526 PCR).

“To date the total number of confirmed cases is 174, recovered 29, active cases 141 and 4 deaths since the onset of the outbreak on March 20, 2020,” said the ministry.

According to the update, Bulawayo Province recorded three new cases; Harare, seven; Mashonaland West, one; Masvingo, two and Matabeleland North, one case.

Cumulatively, Harare province is a run-away epicentre of the virus with 81 cases, followed by Masvingo with 27 cases and Bulawayo on 18.

However, the majority of cases recorded in Zimbabwe have been imported by the country’s nationals who are returning from foreign nations, prompting calls by health experts for the country to tighten controls at border posts and quarantine centres.