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Zimbabwe Hospitalizes Suspected Coronavirus Patient from Thailand


FILE: Preparing for coronavirus patients at Wilkins Hospital, Harare. (Photo: Mavis Gama)

An unidentified traveler from Thailand has been hospitalized in a Zimbabwean hospital for coronavirus tests.

In a tweet, the country’s Ministry of Information said the person was hospitalized at Wilkins Hospital after initially visiting a local hospital.

FILE: 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
FILE: 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

“… The Wilkins Hospital is dealing with a case of a traveler from Thailand who presented (himself/herself) at a local private hospital today, meeting the case definition for COVID-19 and was referred to them for further tests.”

Dr. Portia Mananganzira, head of Zimbabwe’s Epidemiology and Disease Control Department, could not be drawn to comment on the issue, noting that she has been out of the country.

Dr. Mananganzira said Zimbabwe has trained some manpower to handle people suspected of having the virus and is expected to open several health centers nationwide for conducting coronavirus tests.

The Ministry of Information also noted that a person, who was recently in Dubai, has been screened by a local medical team.

“… In Masvingo, a traveller from Dubai tested negative for Coronavirus. He is now in self quarantine and being monitored.”

At the same time, the ministry said another person who returned from China died Friday before she arrived at Wilkins Hospital.

”A Mutare woman who returned from China on 24 January, presented to her GP (general practitioner) on 6 March complaining of shortness of breath. She was referred to Wilkins Hospital for COVID-19 tests but died on the way. Subsequent tests at Wilkins indicated negative for Coronavirus.”

In other parts of the world, Italy's coronavirus death toll spiked Sunday by 133 to 366, the most in any country outside China. With the growing health risks, Rome imposed a new emergency decree, locking down the northern part of the country with a quarter of Italy's population.

FILE: A woman wearing a mask poses for photos at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, in Rome, Thursday, March 5, 2020. Italy's virus outbreak has been concentrated in the northern region of Lombardy, but fears over how the virus is spreading inside and outside
FILE: A woman wearing a mask poses for photos at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, in Rome, Thursday, March 5, 2020. Italy's virus outbreak has been concentrated in the northern region of Lombardy, but fears over how the virus is spreading inside and outside

The northern part of the country includes the Lombardy region and the financial capital, Milan. In addition, Italy is closing off 14 other provinces, including Veneto, home of Venice.

Italy has also asked retired doctors to return to service to help treat coronavirus victims.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said that 100 countries are now reporting coronavirus cases with more than 100,000 people reported as being ill.

"While very serious, this should not discourage us," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "There are many things everyone, everywhere can and should do now."

Tedros praised Italy for "taking bold, courageous steps aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus (and) protecting their country. They are making genuine sacrifices." He said the WHO "stands in solidarity" with Italy and "is here to continue supporting you."

In the U.S., where there have been at least 19 deaths, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter, "We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!"

FILE: President Donald Trump holds up a picture as he listens during a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, left, Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Safety Steve Monroe, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FILE: President Donald Trump holds up a picture as he listens during a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, left, Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Safety Steve Monroe, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CNN that U.S. health officials want Americans, especially older people, to "rethink getting on a cruise or a long-haul flight" in an effort to limit their risk of being confined with someone who might have the coronavirus.

Adams said that by Monday the U.S. expects to have two million test kits available. "If you're health care provider thinks you need a test, you'll get it," he said.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, urged Americans to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously.

"You have to look at any large gathering" and consider the possible consequences of attending, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press" show, and specifically advised against going on a cruise vacation.

FILE: Faithful watch Pope Francis deliver the Angelus prayer on a giant screen, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 8, 2020.
FILE: Faithful watch Pope Francis deliver the Angelus prayer on a giant screen, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 8, 2020.

In a break with centuries of tradition, Pope Francis did not deliver the annual Angelus prayer live Sunday in Saint Peter's Square. The Vatican, which has already reported one coronavirus case, is hoping to keep crowd size down in the tiny city-state in its attempt to stop the virus. The pontiff instead utilized 21st-century technology and delivered the prayer "via livestream by Vatican News and on screens in Saint Peter's Square," the Vatican said.

Iran said Sunday the coronavirus has killed 49 more people in the last 24 hours, bringing its death toll to 194. The Middle Eastern country has 6,566 confirmed cases.

In China, a hotel used to quarantine people with the virus collapsed Sunday. At least six people were killed in the incident. The virus first erupted in China late last year.

FILE: istrict of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at a news conference in Washington on Saturday, March 7, 2020, to announce the first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
FILE: istrict of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at a news conference in Washington on Saturday, March 7, 2020, to announce the first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Reuters reported that at least two federal health screeners at Los Angeles International Airport had tested positive for the coronavirus and have been ordered to self-quarantine until March 17. The news agency said screeners, many of them federal workers, had already "asked their supervisors . . . to change official protocols and require stronger masks."

The Grand Princess cruise ship, hit by a coronavirus outbreak, is scheduled to dock in Oakland, California, Monday. The ship has been held at sea since last week when San Francisco refused to allow the ship to return there because of the outbreak. The Grand Princess is carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crew.

Worldwide, there were more than 106,000 infections Sunday, while the death toll has surpassed 3,500.

Bahrain has announced it will hold its Formula 1 Grand Prix later this month, but without any spectators. "Given the continued spread of COVID -19 globally, convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travelers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time," the Bahrain International Circuit said Sunday.

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