By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in China recently has sent Zimbabwe’s local authorities into panic mode and have since called for an emergency meeting in Bulawayo this Thursday to try and invent proactive strategies on how to deal with any possible spread of the pandemic into their localities.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, at least 506 novel Coronavirus cases are under surveillance in Zimbabwe while a special unit has been set at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare to serve as a national command centre to mitigate any outbreak.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Wednesday, Bulawayo City Council Health Director, Edwin Sibanda revealed that Zimbabwean local authorities are on high alert for the virus and have scheduled a meeting in the second capital city to share notes on their level of preparedness to deal with the disease.
“We will be having a national meeting on Thursday with all other local authorities to ensure that we are ready and on the same level to tackle coronavirus,” said Sibanda.
The official also revealed that the city has already put in place an emergency response mechanism to deal with the virus.
Coronavirus, also known as 2019–nCoV, was first discovered in Wuhan, central China on December 31, 2019.
According to China’s Health Commission, 349 people have since died from the catastrophe while 632 people have recovered in mainland China.
Several cases have also been confirmed in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as Europe, North America and the Middle East.
There are no confirmed cases of the virus infection in Zimbabwe so far but there are fears that Zimbabwe’s ailing health system might not be able to cope with the pandemic in the event of an outbreak.