Zim, China battle lethal coronavirus

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THE government said yesterday that it had put 23 locals on surveillance after they visited countries affected by the deadly coronavirus — which has so far killed 107 people in China and infected 4 500 others around the world, the Daily News reports.

All in all, the government also revealed yesterday, authorities had placed a total of 94 people who had been to countries affected by the virus on a monitoring programme — with the majority being foreigners.
This comes as the Chinese government yesterday pledged to support Zimbabwe fully in its efforts to avoid the coronavirus spreading here.

The director for Environmental Health Services in the Health and Child Care ministry, Victor Nyamandi, told the Daily News that all the people under surveillance would be monitored for at least 21 days — although they would not necessarily be under quarantine.

On her part, epidemiology and disease control director, Portia Manangazira, said the government was taking these precautionary measures to ensure that the disease would not spread into the country.
“We are following up on those people by checking … symptoms daily. However, none of those monitored are showing any worrying signs at the moment,” she said.

On Monday, Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo said the government was ready and also had enough capacity to deal with the lethal coronavirus.

“There is a drug called Kaletra which has been found to be effective, although it’s not a permanent treatment.
“For now, the quantities of the medicines that we have are adequate for the task. We are ready … it’s just now an issue of monitoring at our ports of entry,” he told the media.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

Its symptoms range from pneumonia, high fever, flu symptoms, shortness of breath and diarrhoea and precautions that have to be taken include covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing and continuously washing hands.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government yesterday said it was making an all-out effort to prevent the virus from spreading to Zimbabwe.

“We have informed Zimbabwean authorities in health, foreign affairs, airports, and other ports of entry of the latest developments on the epidemic and established an information sharing mechanism with them.
“We have requested Chinese nationals coming to Zimbabwe to co-operate fully with the screening measures of the Zimbabwean authorities at the ports of entry and issued three consular notices to provide information updates and recommendations for the prevention of the epidemic.

“We have called on associations of the Chinese community and … businesses and institutions in Zimbabwe to raise the awareness of their members and employees who have returned to China for holiday, asking them to protect themselves against infection,” the Chinese embassy said.

“Those who have returned to the most affected regions in China, such as Hubei, are advised to hold off coming back … until the situation eases to reduce the risk of bringing the virus to Zimbabwe.

“Those who have returned to Zimbabwe from the worst hit areas in China are requested to undergo a self-quarantine of two weeks at home, and not go to public places, offices, or any gatherings.

“If suspected symptoms appear, they are asked to immediately seek medical help and report to the embassy,” it further advised.

Meanwhile, the virus, which first broke out in Wuhan in China last December, is said to have since spread to other countries such as the US, France, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.

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