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Zimbabwe: COVID-19 crawls to president’s doorstep

Son of President Emmerson Mnangagwa tests positive for coronavirus as COVID-19 cases spike in Southern African country

John Cassim   | 04.08.2020
Zimbabwe: COVID-19 crawls to president’s doorstep

HARARE, Zimbabwe

The son of Zimbabwe's president has announced that he had contracted the novel coronavirus, according to local media reports.

"It is with great dismay that I have to deliver this news to you, my friends and colleagues,

"I have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and I am appealing to everyone who has been in contact with me to take precautionary measures and get tested," President Emmerson Mnangagwa's son, Tongai Mnangagwa, told reporters in a statement late on Monday.

Tongai is also a member of parliament, becoming the third legislator to test positive for the coronavirus.

Parliament had been abruptly closed last week after the infection of the two other lawmakers as cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 continue to increase in the Southern African country.

The announcement comes amid reports that the president's cook also died of the virus, in a claim neither confirmed nor denied by the State House.

Last week, Zimbabwean Minister of Lands and Agriculture, Perrence Shiri died of the coronavirus, becoming the first top government official to succumb to the disease.

Shiri's death was followed by the death of Peter Muchakazi, 56, an army procurement officer and Colonel Overson Mugwisi the military's spokesman.

"It’s a painful road, having to get up each day and hope to make it to the next, I sometimes experience pain that is so excruciating that I feel like letting go," Tongai related.

Zimbabwe is experiencing a spike if COVID-19 cases at a time when the health delivery system has collapsed while doctors and nurses are on strike due to poor salaries.

As of Aug. 3, the country had recorded 4,075 confirmed cases, including 80 deaths and 1,057 recoveries.

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