Zim bans foreign trips for civil servants to ward off coronavirus
Pretoria – As the coronavirus disease COVID-19 epidemic spreads across the world, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has banned civil servants from going abroad and urged other citizens to restrict their travelling especially outside Africa, state media reported.
“We will continue to urge our people to minimise the risk of exposure. For those in Government, I have banned foreign travelling. I also appeal to Zimbabweans to minimise travelling outside the country,” state-owned newspaper The Herald quoted Mnangagwa as saying.
He said Zimbabwe’s ministry of health and child care and associated departments were adequately prepared to handle possible cases of COVID-19, stressing however that his government was doing all it could to minimise the risk of infections.
Earlier this week, Zimbabwe announced it would deport visitors to the country from coronavirus affected regions who did not have valid medical certificates showing they had tested negative for the disease which has so far killed more than 3 000 people globally.
On Thursday, neighbouring South Africa confirmed its first case of COVID-19, a 38-year-old man from KwaZulu-Natal province who contracted the virus while on holiday in Italy.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said the man, who had travelled with his wife and was part of a group of 10 holidaymakers, returned to South Africa on March 1. Three days later he consulted a general practitioner after presenting with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, sore throat and a cough.
The man and his doctor have been self-isolating since the diagnosis was confirmed.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appealed for calm, adding that South Africa was prepared for eventualities.African News Agency