Zimbabwe, Nigeria reports first coronavirus deaths

Zimbabwe, Nigeria reports first coronavirus deaths

Zimbabwe’s second coronavirus patient, a 30-year-old man, has died in the capital Harare, state broadcaster said Monday.

Hospital Beds / Pexels
Hospital Beds / Pexels

"The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo has confirmed the death of Zororo Makamba, who was the second person to test positive for Covid-19 in Zimbabwe," the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation tweeted.

Makamba was confirmed positive with the virus on Saturday.

He had travelled to New York late last month and returned home on March 9, transiting through Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa.

Government said he begun showing mild flu-like symptoms on March 12 that progressively worsened. He consulted a doctor and was instructed to self-quarantine. 

On Friday the country reported its first coronavirus case, a 38-year-old man who returned from Britain to his home in the tourist resort town of Victoria Falls.

The government has closed schools, cancelled public and sporting events and restricted gatherings in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. 

It has also prohibited government officials from travelling outside the country, although President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the weekend flew to Namibia to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his counterpart Hage Geingob.  

Zimbabwe country's public health system has been suffering for years from a lack of equipment and drugs and there are fears it will struggle to cope with the outbreak.

"The system... is overstretched and inadequate to deal with a coronavirus epidemic," Norman Matara, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, said at the weekend.

READ: Expat in COVID-19 hit Italy: 'I would hate to see this happen in SA'

Nigeria on Monday also reported its first death from coronavirus as confirmed cases of infections in Africa's most populous nation climbed further. 

"The 1st COVID-19 death in Nigeria has been recorded," the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control wrote on Twitter.

"The case was a 67 year old male who returned home following medical treatment in UK. He had underlying medical conditions -- multiple myeloma & diabetes & was undergoing chemotherapy."

The agency said the confirmed number of infections in Nigeria had now risen to 36, with cases registered in largest city Lagos, the capital Abuja and four other states. 

Africa has so far registered lower numbers than the rest of the globe with around 1,500 confirmed cases and 50 deaths -- but testing has been patchy. 

Nigeria has closed down all international flights for a month and shut schools and restricted gatherings in a string of regions in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. 

The country of 190 million people is seen as highly vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases given its weak healthcare system and high population density. 

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