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Fear Grips Zimbabwe As British Visitor Tests Positive for Coronavirus Back in London

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 - RC2D0F9T97S9

Zimbabwean health authorities say a British tourist, who recently visited the southern African nation, has tested positive for coronavirus amid concerns of a possible outbreak of the disease in Victoria Falls, about 200 kilometers north of the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the visitor is currently under self-quarantine together with people she lives with in Britain.

“Today the 16th of March 2020, we received a report that a tourist who came to Victoria Falls on the 7th of March 2020 and departed on the 10th of March 2020 back to United Kingdom has been found positive for Covid-19 and is currently being treated in the UK. The Ministry of Health team is investigating the people who have been in close contact with this traveller.”

The Zimbabwean government also said two Asian travelers have been admitted to Wilkins Hospital in Harare for monitoring after they showed some symptoms of coronavirus.

“… Today the 16th of March 2020, 2 travellers who entered the country though RG Mugabe International Airport have been detected by port health officials after the thermos-scanners picked them with high temperature. One came from Shanghai, China aboard Ethiopian Airlines and the other from London aboard Kenyan Airlines. These 2 have been isolated at Wilkins and are awaiting results.”

It further cited another incident of a woman in Bulawayo, who arrived in the country last Tuesday whose doctor in South Africa was in self-quarantine.

“Yesterday 15 March 2020, the Ministry received a report of a suspected case in Bulawayo. This suspected case involves a female traveller who travelled from South Africa to Zimbabwe on Tuesday the 9th of March 2020. This traveller had sort medical attention for other reasons from a General Practitioner in South Africa the previous day before she had travelled to Zimbabwe. She later received a call from South Africa informing her that her doctor had been put on self-quarantine after one of the patients the doctor attended to had tested positive for Covid-19.”

The government said several suspected cases in Zimbabwe have tested negative for coronavirus.

It urged people to avoid huge gatherings during the Easter holidays, not to travel to some nations ravaged by the disease and avoid close contact with anyone with a cold or flu-like symptoms

“Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue paper or flexed elbow. Wash hands with soap under running water after sneezing or coughing, when caring for the sick, after toilet use, before eating food, before, during and after preparing food, when hands are dirty and after handling animals or animal waste.”

Coronavirus has killed thousands of people worldwide, including the epicenter of the disease in China where over 3,000 people has so far lost their lives.

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