Zimbabwe’s coronavirus jitters

Asia and Oceania Coronavirus Watch World
Medical staff of Union Hospital affiliated to Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, January 22, 2020. /Xinhua Photo

Lloyd Ndemo

Zimbabweans are increasingly becoming unease about the risk of the highly infectious coronavirus – that has hit China’s central Hubei Province – getting to the Southern African country.

The fear of a possible outbreak is likely being triggered by the large traffic of travellers from China where 881 cases and 26 deaths have been confirmed.

While ZTN is yet to get a comment from the Ministry of Health and Child Care on measures being put in place to guard against a possible spread a tweet from the Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting said government has taken heed of concerns raised by citizens.

“We have been receiving a lot of enquiries from concerned citizens and the media regarding the impact (if any) of the international outbreak of Coronavirus on Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans. The @MoHCCZim will be issuing a statement later today.”

Scientists in China have suggested that the cobra and another type of snake the krait may be the original sources of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China.

The virus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei late last year and has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

Coronavirus is transmitted through the air and primarily infects the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds.