Zimbabwe reported its first swine flu cases on Thursday after five pupils from Hillcrest Prep School in the eastern border town of Mutare tested positive for the swine influenza virus.
Health Minister Dr Henry Madzorera said the country has in place "a concrete preparedness and response plan."
According to the NewZimbabwe website, the Minister said the affected pupils, aged between five and 10, were under quarantine. He said 27 pupils in total had been tested at the private school for the virus. The minister said students at the posh school "do a lot of traveling" - suggesting the carrier pupil may have contracted the virus outside the country. The minister said the cases were detected in "early August", but did not explain why the announcement was only made on Thursday.
The news comes at a time when doctors are on strike for better wages and working conditions. Reports received late Friday say some doctors have received letters of dismissal. One of those dismissed, Dr. Brighton Chizhande, said the Clinical Director of Parirenyatwa Hospital has been sending letters to a number of the doctors, dismissing them.