Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Zimbabwe reports first COVID-19 case

Male, 38, resident traveled to UK, returned through South Africa, says health minister

John Cassim   | 21.03.2020
Zimbabwe reports first COVID-19 case

HARARE, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe announced Friday the country's first COVID-19 case. 

The male, 38, from the tourist town of Victoria Falls, traveled March 7 to the U.K. and returned March 15 through South Africa, said Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.

"This evening, Friday, March 20, 2020, the National Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive,” Moyo said in a televised address. "This is the first COVID-19 in Zimbabwe,"

Zimbabwe, earlier this week, said a British tourist who visited Victoria Falls but tested positive for the virus known as COVID-19 upon return to the U.K.

As part of measures against the virus, Zimbabwe closed schools, banned public gatherings and imposed travel restrictions.

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 164 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of more than 266,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 11,000, and more than 87,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who become infected suffer only mild symptoms and recover.

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