Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Zimbabwe health system at risk due to COVID-19 strain

Health officials confirmed 34 deaths, 1, 365 infections bringing figures to 418 fatalities, 17,194 infections

Zimbabwe health system at risk due to COVID-19 strain Harare, Zimbabwe on December 31, 2020. ( Wilfred Kajese - Anadolu Agency )


Zimbabwe’s health system is at risk of being overwhelmed as a renewed surge in coronavirus infections has caused a shortage of beds and equipment at hospitals, local media reported Wednesday.

"The strain on the hospitals comes from our limited bed capacity," Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, Norman Matara told the Bulawayo24 news website.

"A small increase in cases puts pressure," he said, citing that private hospitals are also overwhelmed with limited capacity, “with those facilities requiring bookings and upfront payments of $2,500 to $5,000.”

The health ministry confirmed 34 COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday and 1, 365 infections that brought those figures to 418 and 17,194, respectively.

Authorities imposed a 30-day lockdown during the weekend and closed land borders as well as gyms, restaurants and bars, according to Bulawayo24.

The virus has claimed more than 1.87 million lives in 191 countries and regions since first being detected in Wuhan, China last December, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

More than 86.5 million people have been infected.

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