Coronavirus: “We Must Not Overreact,” Senior Zim Health Official Says While The Whole World Gears Up.
22 March 2020
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Dr Chimberengwa

Own Correspondent|Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Purgie Chimberengwa has told Zimbabweans not to over react following reports on the first confirmed Coronavirus case in the province.

Reacting to the news on the patient, Dr Chimberengwa said the patient was recovering well at home and Zimbabwe should not panic. His statement appears contradictory to the general world order where the outbreak of the virus has been taken as a serious emergency.

“He remains at his home and doesn’t feel any pain anymore as he has recovered. His family is safe and now part of surveillance system including their workers. We are following on their contacts and asking them to self-quarantine. We have been compiling a list of those he came into contact with and on Friday night, they had been phoned and notified.”

“There is no need to close shop. We must not overreact. We recommend people to appropriately wash hands with soap and running water or use hand sanitisers with an alcohol content of about 70 percent.

“In the ideal, when one is quarantined, he or she must be in a separate room with no contact with family or anyone. Where there are no enough rooms that’s when we recommend face masks but the best way is hygiene.

“We discourage people to use the same gloves and masks for the whole day because by so doing you are not protecting anything but actually you are at risk of becoming the hub of the virus. If an infected person coughs on you and you wear the mask the whole day you can imagine what happens. The face mask is recommended for the patient and health worker attending to cases,” said Dr Chimberengwa.

His sentiments were also echoed by the Minister of Health Dr Obadiah Moyo who appears not to be getting into overdrive on the Coronavirus possible outbreak.

Dr Moyo said Covid-19 response teams were engaged in contact tracing and as with the first case, were being assisted by the patient himself. In Victoria Falls, where the first case was confirmed, authorities said the patient was recovering but they were tracking the people whom he came into contact with.

More than 300,000 cases have been confirmed globally, including over 13,000 deaths, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. At least 92,000 people have recovered.