Though Free, Zimbabwe Declares Coronavirus National Disaster
Although Southern African country, Zimbabwe does not have a single case of Coronavirus yet, President Emmerson Mnangagwa taken measures to prevent spread of the deadly in the country.
Zimbabwe President, Mnangagwa has declared the Coronavirus a national disaster and also postponed Independence Day celebrations.
The country’s Independence Day celebrations was scheduled for 18 April. Zimbabwe has also banned all public gatherings of more than 100 people.
The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) that was to take place in the south-western city of Bulawayo from 21 – 25 April has also been postponed.
The ban will affect church gatherings, weddings and sporting events for 60 days.
The president told a press briefing at his office in the capital, Harare, there will be no travel ban, but discouraged travellers from countries that have confirmed coronavirus cases from visiting Zimbabwe.
He also advised Zimbabweans against travel abroad until the pandemic is under control.
Deadly coronavirus is sweeping across the world and Africa is not exception. At least 27 African states have so far been affected by the virus. Liberia, Somalia and Tanzania are the latest African countries to report cases.
In total, nearly 350 people have been diagnosed with the virus across Africa. Seven people have died while 42 have recovered, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Most of the cases involve people arriving from Europe and North America.
A number of African countries have imposed travel restriction on countries most affected by the virus like China, Italy, Nigeria in West Africa is one of African countries whose doors are still open.
African states that have announced measures to curb the spread of the virus include South Africa, Kenya. South Africa announced the closure of nearly half – 35 out of 72 – of South Africa’s land border crossings from Monday, along with two of its eight sea ports; banning foreign nationals from eight countries – including the UK and US – from entering South Africa from Wednesday; advising people to avoid domestic travel; shutting all schools with immediate effect until the end of the Easter holidays; banning all public gatherings of more than 100 with immediate effect. This would affect the biggest annual event in South Africa – an Easter religious service attended by several million followers of the Zion Christian Church at its headquarters in northern Limpopo province.
in Ethiopia, the closure of all schools and a ban on all public gatherings and sporting activities. In Ghana – a ban on all public gatherings and travel from countries with more than 200 cases of coronavirus. As a result, all football matches in the country have been suspended. In Tunisia – the closure of all borders and the suspension of prayers in mosques. In Algeria – a ban on all travel to and from Europe. In Mozambique – a ban on all gatherings of more than 300 people. In Morocco and Djibouti – the suspension of all international flights
But Nigeria has insisted it would not be banning any legitimate traveller from entering the country.
The minister of state for health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, said on Monday in Abuja that Nigeria still has no plans on restricting any country’s nationals from entering the country.
Instead, the country would be intensifying screening on passengers from eight countries – China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Japan, France, and Spain.
Mr Mamora, while giving the national update on the status of the disease in the country, said these eight countries have been highlighted as countries with high risk of widespread community transmission and screening would be intensified on passengers from these countries.
The U.S. and UK, despite having high ongoing transmission and cases, are not part of the countries earmarked for intensive passengers screening.
As at the time of reporting, the U.S. ranks eighth on the table of countries with the highest number of confirmed cases with 3,802 confirmed cases while the UK ranks 10th with 1,391 confirmed cases following Switzerland.
“We continue to monitor returning travellers that fit our case definition and improve our surveillance, detection and risk communication,” he said.
“We have carried out a review of our case definition after the disease was declared pandemic and added three countries to the existing list of five high risk countries with widespread community transmission.”