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Zimbabwe Records First Coronavirus Case

Zimbabwe's health workers wear protective suits during a training exercise aimed at preparing workers to deal with any potential coronavirus cases at a hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo - RC2D0F9T97S9

A man has tested positive for coronavirus in Zimbabwe, according to the Ministry of Health.

In a statement, the ministry said a man, who visited Britain a week ago and returned home in Victoria Falls, tested positive for the disease following prescribed laboratory tests.

The ministry identified the person as a 38 year-old Caucasian male resident. This is the first coronavirus case in the country.

“This evening, Friday 20th March 2020, the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive.”

The patient travelled to Manchester, United Kingdom, on March 7th and returned home eight days later after passing through South Africa.

“After arrival he put himself on self-quarantine at home as per our advice to all travelers coming from COVID-19 affected countries. On realizing that he was not feeling too well he contacted his general practitioner by telephone advising him that he had a persistent cough and sneezing. The GP alerted the local COVID-19 Rapid Response Team who immediately went to assess him and recommended that he continue self-isolation at home. Specimens were collected and ferried to the Rerefence lab for testing,” the statement read in part.

According to the Ministry of Health, the person continued with self-isolation at home “and is now showing signs of recovery after supportive management at home.”

The ministry noted that “as a result of our preparedness, we managed to identify this first case in a timely fashion and ensure that he was appropriately managed. Our teams are now engaged in contact tracing and are being assisted by the patient himself. We call for the nation to be calm as we deal with this first cases of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.”

Several suspected cases of coronavirus have been cleared in Zimbabwe following laboratory tests in the country and the Southern African Development Community testing center in South Africa.

The global death toll for the coronavirus pandemic as it spreads around the world has surpassed 10,000 people. COVID-19 has infected more than 244,500 people.

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