Difference between revisions of "COVID-19 in Zimbabwe"

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Stats last updated: 22 May 2020:0448HRS
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Stats last updated: 23 May 2020:1412HRS
  
 
==Zimbabwe's Response to Coronavirus==
 
==Zimbabwe's Response to Coronavirus==

Revision as of 12:13, 23 May 2020

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

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Coronavirus. In Zimbabwe, the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed on Friday the 20th of March 2020. It was a Victoria Falls man who had traveled to the UK and back. A second case was confirmed soon after.[1]

The first Coronavirus death was registered on 23 March 2020, a prominent media personality called Zororo Makamba.[2]

COVID-19 Cases

Confirmed Cases Active Cases Recovered Deaths
56 34 18 4

Stats last updated: 23 May 2020:1412HRS

Zimbabwe's Response to Coronavirus

16 May 2020

  • Zimbabwe to continue in Level 2 of the lockdown for an indefinite period. The lockdown to be reviewed after every 2 weeks
  • Industries seeking to reopen must adhere to WHO guidelines
  • WHO guidelines of hand sanitisation, social distancing and wearing of masks to continue
  • Phased reopening of schools on the cards and exam classes to be prioritised
  • Public gatherings prohibition remain in place (political rallies, worship services)
  • Supermarkets to open from 0800-1630hrs, fast food outlets and restaurants to open only for takeaways and deliveries
  • Borders remain closed except for returning residents and essential cargo
  • 21 day quarantine to remain in force and testing to be done on days 1, 8 and 21.
  • Public transport (Taxis, combis and unlicensed taxis) remain banned except for ZUPCO and combis registered under ZUPCO with limited number of passengers
  • Intercity movements either by road or air remain banned and only inter-district movements are allowed with health guidelines being observed
  • Bars, gyms and all social places remain banned from opening

5 May 2020

Shortage of testing kits has resulted in challenges for firms to have their employees tested. Govt has now given firms a temporary reprieve.They will still need to test their employees as soon as kits are available. In the meantime companies should maintain these measures:

  • Temperature check
  • Sanitising
  • Wearing of face masks
  • Social Distancing

4 May 2020

  • Government says businesses in the formal sector to resume operations under Level Two include those who:

Hold a shop licence or other licence from a local authority and operate the business in question from specified premises.

  • Companies encouraged to procure rapid test kits for themselves, guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in terms of test kit specifications. Employers must arrange with designated public & private facilities for employees to be tested at an agreed time at the facilities or at the workplace.
  • Companies should ensure adequate space and conditions for testing (social distancing, infection prevention and control, privacy etc).
  • Selected private facilities include:

New Start Centres, Premier Service Medical Investments, Lancet laboratories and CIMAS.

2 May 2020

  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care announced that the previously reported 6 people in Harare to have tested positive for COVID-19 were retested to comply with Laboratory Standards and tested negative so the number of positive cases will reduce from the initially reported 40 to 34.

1 May 2020

  • The Government has extended the lockdown period by a further 14 days
  • All people are mandated to wear masks whenever they are going outside their homes
  • Operational hours for businesses will be from 8am to 3pm
  • Reopening of industry and commerce subject to maintenance or compliance by making sure all employees will be tested, sanitised and wearing of masks
  • For avoidance of doubt informal sector to remain closed except for agricultural markets
  • Public transport only shall be the allowed mode of transport and still banned are commuter omnibuses and taxis. Public transport shall test their customers, ensure all passengers wear masks and social distance observation.
  • Industry and Commerce shall be open for in line with outlined compliance procedures and compliance teams will be conducting checks and all non-complying companies shall be directed to close
  • Maintenance of mandatory quarantine of returning residents will continue along the lines of stipulated time frame of 21 days and tested for COVID-19 on day 1, day 9 and day 21
  • Churches, gyms, schools, bars, tourist resorts and other recreational places shall remain closed
  • Gatherings shall remain limited to 50 people

Other issues presented:

  • Tax break for those in the health institutions for 6 months
  • The country is not yet ready to open schools, colleges and universities
  • Setting aside of money for specific purposes like food, online education, health, etc.

29 April 2020

  • From the tests done today there were 8 more new positive cases to take the number of positive cases to 40 with 5 recoveries and 4 deaths resulting in 31 active cases
  • 2 of the cases were from Bulawayo who were pending from the tests done on 28 April 2020 and 6 cases were recorded from other areas.

28 April 2020

  • The government announced the deferral of rental and mortgage payments free of interest charges or penalties of whatever nature

27 April 2020

  • 439 tests done today across the country and 1 person confirmed positive in Harare to take the total number of positive cases to 32
  • 6834 tests done to date

26 April 2020

  • The MoHCC reported that of the 25 Active Cases 3 more have recovered to take the number of recoveries to 5 and the active cases reduce to 22.
  • Mass testing done in Mhondoro's Chitemere village after the death of Gogo Nguni nee Chitemere due to COVID-19

22 April 2020

  • Three more positive cases reported in Harare to take the number of positive cases to 28 with 2 recoveries and 3 deaths.
  • The country recorded one more COVID-19 death to take the total number of deaths to 4 and the number of cases increases to 29

19 April 2020

  • The country is yet to meet the WHO requirements to lift the lockdown so the Government has extended the lockdown by a further 14 days up to 3 May 2020.
  • Mining sector to resume or scale up operations and workers in this sector to be tested and screened and to live in their places of work.
  • Limited operations for the manufacturing sector including the informal and SMEs sectors
  • Essential services to continue operating as before and to be guided by the set parameters
  • Tobacco floors to be decentralised to avoid overcrowding.

10 April 2020

  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information releases a photo of a makeshift hospital in Gweru. The photos drew widespread criticism for showing the government's inadequate preparation for Coronavirus cases.

7 April 2020

Zimbabwe announces the second death from Coronavirus, Ian Hyslop, a 79-year old Bulawayo man who had visited a Hwange area frequented by tourists.[3]

31 March

  • The government announces that an additional 1 case has been confirmed bringing the total to 8 cases

30 March

  • The Government to pay out Z$200m per month to a million vulnerable households over the next three months
  • Treasury redirecting capital expenditure in the 2020 Budget towards health, including water supply and sanitation
  • Budget allocations to various Ministries have been cut to redirect money to coronavirus fight
  • Unfreezing of 4 000 health sector posts. 200 new medical posts created
  • The 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) stays, but will be channeled towards COVID-19 related expenditure
  • Duty and tax suspended on goods and services related to testing, protection, sterilisation, and other medical consumables


28 March

  • The government announces that an additional 2 cases have been confirmed bringing the total to 7 cases

27 March - Total Lockdown

  • The government announces that an additional 2 cases had been confirmed bringing the total to 5 cases
  • President Mnangagwa addresses the country in the evening announcing a total lockdown in the country to commence Monday 30 March.
    • Security services to be deployed and essential civil servants will be the only ones to be allowed free movements.
    • All movements of people is prohibited with the exception of Ministers, Heads of Ministries & Health workers.
    • Only food related markets will be opened and security forces will be deployed where necessary.
    • Transport services will be suspended and only ZUPCO and Public Service buses will be exempted.


26 March

  • Government announces the confirmation of the 3rd case of Coronavirus in the country


25 March - Taskforce & Reconditioning Of Private Hospitals

  • Government announces a Coronavirus Taskforce which includes minister of (Defence and War Veterans Affairs), Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who a few weeks ago had said Coronavirus was just God's punishment on thhe west for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. The other ministers in the taskforce are Dr Obadiah Moyo who is the chairman (Health and Child Care), July Moyo who is the deputy chair (Local Government and Public Works), Kazembe Kazembe (Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage), Dr Sibusiso Moyo (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Joel Biggie Matiza (Transport and Infrastructural Development), Mangaliso Ndlovu (Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry), Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Professor Amon Murwira (Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation and Science Technology Development and Monica Mutsvangwa (Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services).
  • Following public outrage on social media that some private hospitals were being reserved for the elite, the government said that it was working with private companies to resuscitate some health facilities to increase the Coronavirus response capacity. In particular, the government said Sakunda Holdings (a company accused of corruption in several cases before) had been awarded the licenses to recondition St Anne’s hospital in Avondale, and Rock Foundation Medical Centre in Arundel.


23 March - Closure of borders

  • Following the first Coronavirus death in Zimbabwe, the president addressed the nation and announced further measures:
    • Closure of all borders to human traffic. Only commercial cargo would be allowed
    • Returning residents were now required to go into 21-day self-quarantine
    • Closure of bars, clubs, gyms and all sports events closed
    • Restriction of hospital visits to one hospital visitor per patient, and once a day
    • Ban of all public gatherings of more than 50 people.
    • Informal markets and public transport were to keep operating with security agents enforcing public health safety measures.


  • The government gazettes the declaration of COVID-19 as a Formidable Epidemic Disease in terms of the Public Health Act. This allows regulations to order compulsory testing, quarantining, isolation and treatment of anyone who is exposed to the infection or is confirmed as infected

17 March - Cancellation of national events

  • Before the first case had been confirmed, president Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed the nation announcing the following:
    • A cancellation of Independence Day celebrations
    • A cancellation of the pending Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which was scheduled to be held in April.
    • A ban on Public gatherings of more than 100 people.
    • The cancellation of all pending International Sporting Events

The president was criticised for not closing its borders especially to people coming from high-risk countries such as China, Italy, France, and the US. The president said that travel from such countries was just "discouraged".


13 March - No cases yet

  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care announced that 8700 individuals had so far been screen at the countries ports of entry and had been put on surveillance. The announcement said there were not yet any confirmed cases in the country

4 May 2020

  • Government says businesses in the formal sector to resume operations under Level Two include those who:

Hold a shop licence or other licence from a local authority and operate the business in question from specified premises.

  • Companies encouraged to procure rapid test kits for themselves, guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in terms of test kit specifications. Employers must arrange with designated public & private facilities for employees to be tested at an agreed time at the facilities or at the workplace.
  • Companies should ensure adequate space and conditions for testing (social distancing, infection prevention and control, privacy etc).
  • Selected private facilities include:

New Start Centres, Premier Service Medical Investments, Lancet laboratories and CIMAS.

2 May 2020

  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care announced that the previously reported 6 people in Harare to have tested positive for COVID-19 were retested to comply with Laboratory Standards and tested negative so the number of positive cases will reduce from the initially reported 40 to 34.

1 May 2020

  • The Government has extended the lockdown period by a further 14 days
  • All people are mandated to wear masks whenever they are going outside their homes
  • Operational hours for businesses will be from 8am to 3pm
  • Reopening of industry and commerce subject to maintenance or compliance by making sure all employees will be tested, sanitised and wearing of masks
  • For avoidance of doubt informal sector to remain closed except for agricultural markets
  • Public transport only shall be the allowed mode of transport and still banned are commuter omnibuses and taxis. Public transport shall test their customers, ensure all passengers wear masks and social distance observation.
  • Industry and Commerce shall be open for in line with outlined compliance procedures and compliance teams will be conducting checks and all non-complying companies shall be directed to close
  • Maintenance of mandatory quarantine of returning residents will continue along the lines of stipulated time frame of 21 days and tested for COVID-19 on day 1, day 9 and day 21
  • Churches, gyms, schools, bars, tourist resorts and other recreational places shall remain closed
  • Gatherings shall remain limited to 50 people

Other issues presented:

  • Tax break for those in the health institutions for 6 months
  • The country is not yet ready to open schools, colleges and universities
  • Setting aside of money for specific purposes like food, online education, health, etc.

29 April 2020

  • From the tests done today there were 8 more new positive cases to take the number of positive cases to 40 with 5 recoveries and 4 deaths resulting in 31 active cases
  • 2 of the cases were from Bulawayo who were pending from the tests done on 28 April 2020 and 6 cases were recorded from other areas.

28 April 2020

  • The government announced the deferral of rental and mortgage payments free of interest charges or penalties of whatever nature

27 April 2020

  • 439 tests done today across the country and 1 person confirmed positive in Harare to take the total number of positive cases to 32
  • 6834 tests done to date

26 April 2020

  • The MoHCC reported that of the 25 Active Cases 3 more have recovered to take the number of recoveries to 5 and the active cases reduce to 22.
  • Mass testing done in Mhondoro's Chitemere village after the death of Gogo Nguni nee Chitemere due to COVID-19

22 April 2020

  • Three more positive cases reported in Harare to take the number of positive cases to 28 with 2 recoveries and 3 deaths.
  • The country recorded one more COVID-19 death to take the total number of deaths to 4 and the number of cases increases to 29

19 April 2020

  • The country is yet to meet the WHO requirements to lift the lockdown so the Government has extended the lockdown by a further 14 days up to 3 May 2020.
  • Mining sector to resume or scale up operations and workers in this sector to be tested and screened and to live in their places of work.
  • Limited operations for the manufacturing sector including the informal and SMEs sectors
  • Essential services to continue operating as before and to be guided by the set parameters
  • Tobacco floors to be decentralised to avoid overcrowding.

10 April 2020

  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information releases a photo of a makeshift hospital in Gweru. The photos drew widespread criticism for showing the government's inadequate preparation for Coronavirus cases.

7 April 2020

Zimbabwe announces the second death from Coronavirus, Ian Hyslop, a 79-year old Bulawayo man who had visited a Hwange area frequented by tourists.[3]

31 March

  • The government announces that an additional 1 case has been confirmed bringing the total to 8 cases

30 March

  • The Government to pay out Z$200m per month to a million vulnerable households over the next three months
  • Treasury redirecting capital expenditure in the 2020 Budget towards health, including water supply and sanitation
  • Budget allocations to various Ministries have been cut to redirect money to coronavirus fight
  • Unfreezing of 4 000 health sector posts. 200 new medical posts created
  • The 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) stays, but will be channeled towards COVID-19 related expenditure
  • Duty and tax suspended on goods and services related to testing, protection, sterilisation, and other medical consumables


28 March

  • The government announces that an additional 2 cases have been confirmed bringing the total to 7 cases

27 March - Total Lockdown

  • The government announces that an additional 2 cases had been confirmed bringing the total to 5 cases
  • President Mnangagwa addresses the country in the evening announcing a total lockdown in the country to commence Monday 30 March.
    • Security services to be deployed and essential civil servants will be the only ones to be allowed free movements.
    • All movements of people is prohibited with the exception of Ministers, Heads of Ministries & Health workers.
    • Only food related markets will be opened and security forces will be deployed where necessary.
    • Transport services will be suspended and only ZUPCO and Public Service buses will be exempted.


26 March

  • Government announces the confirmation of the 3rd case of Coronavirus in the country


25 March - Taskforce & Reconditioning Of Private Hospitals

  • Government announces a Coronavirus Taskforce which includes minister of (Defence and War Veterans Affairs), Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who a few weeks ago had said Coronavirus was just God's punishment on thhe west for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. The other ministers in the taskforce are Dr Obadiah Moyo who is the chairman (Health and Child Care), July Moyo who is the deputy chair (Local Government and Public Works), Kazembe Kazembe (Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage), Dr Sibusiso Moyo (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Joel Biggie Matiza (Transport and Infrastructural Development), Mangaliso Ndlovu (Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry), Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Professor Amon Murwira (Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation and Science Technology Development and Monica Mutsvangwa (Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services).
  • Following public outrage on social media that some private hospitals were being reserved for the elite, the government said that it was working with private companies to resuscitate some health facilities to increase the Coronavirus response capacity. In particular, the government said Sakunda Holdings (a company accused of corruption in several cases before) had been awarded the licenses to recondition St Anne’s hospital in Avondale, and Rock Foundation Medical Centre in Arundel.


23 March - Closure of borders

  • Following the first Coronavirus death in Zimbabwe, the president addressed the nation and announced further measures:
    • Closure of all borders to human traffic. Only commercial cargo would be allowed
    • Returning residents were now required to go into 21-day self-quarantine
    • Closure of bars, clubs, gyms and all sports events closed
    • Restriction of hospital visits to one hospital visitor per patient, and once a day
    • Ban of all public gatherings of more than 50 people.
    • Informal markets and public transport were to keep operating with security agents enforcing public health safety measures.


  • The government gazettes the declaration of COVID-19 as a Formidable Epidemic Disease in terms of the Public Health Act. This allows regulations to order compulsory testing, quarantining, isolation and treatment of anyone who is exposed to the infection or is confirmed as infected

17 March - Cancellation of national events

  • Before the first case had been confirmed, president Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed the nation announcing the following:
    • A cancellation of Independence Day celebrations
    • A cancellation of the pending Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which was scheduled to be held in April.
    • A ban on Public gatherings of more than 100 people.
    • The cancellation of all pending International Sporting Events

The president was criticised for not closing its borders especially to people coming from high-risk countries such as China, Italy, France, and the US. The president said that travel from such countries was just "discouraged".


13 March - No cases yet

  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care announced that 8700 individuals had so far been screen at the countries ports of entry and had been put on surveillance. The announcement said there were not yet any confirmed cases in the country

Coronavirus Origins

COVID-19 is a zoonotic virus. From phylogenetics analyses undertaken with available full genome sequences, bats appear to be the reservoir of COVID-19 virus, but the intermediate host(s) has not yet been identified. However, three important areas of work are already underway in China to inform our understanding of the zoonotic origin of this outbreak. These include early investigations of cases with symptom onset in Wuhan throughout December 2019, environmental sampling from the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market and other area markets, and the collection of detailed records on the source and type of wildlife species sold at the Huanan market and the destination of those animals after the market was closed.[4]

Disease Overview

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, immunosuppressed disease, kidney disease and advanced stage cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.[5]

Prevention

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 2-metres distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing using tissue which you must immediately bin.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical and social distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.
  • If possible try and wear a surgical mask when travelling outside or if health worker wear a respirator/aerosol mask (type N95).

Symptoms

The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

Common symptoms

  • fever (>38C or >100.4F)
  • shortness of breath
  • constant dry cough

Other symptoms include:

  • tiredness
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • and very few people will report diarrhea, nausea or a runny nose.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.

People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should call their doctor and seek medical attention.


References

  1. Zimbabwe Records First Coronavirus Case, VOA Zimbabwe, Accessed: 24 March 2020
  2. Zimbabwe Registers First Coronavirus COVID-19 Death, Pindula News, Accessed: 24 March 2020
  3. 3.0 3.1 Zimbabwe Records Second COVID-19 Death – Ministry Of Health Coronavirus Update – 07 April 2020, Pindula News, Accessed: 07 April 2020
  4. [1], World Health Organisation, Accessed: 23 March, 2020
  5. [2], World Health Organisation, Accessed: 23 March, 2020