Zimbabwe: AU Commends Zim's Covid-19 Measures

27 March 2020

The African Union (AU) has commended travel restriction measures instituted by Zimbabwe to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Measures include closing schools and universities, social distancing and home isolation.

In an update on Wednesday on the situation in Africa, the AU and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said Zimbabwe was one of the countries where the virus had been imported and not locally transmitted.

As of Wednesday, Zimbabwe was among African countries that had recorded less than 10 cases of the global pandemic, while South Africa was the hardest hit with at least 930 cases.

Egypt was the second most affected with at least 402 cases.

According to the AU, Zimbabwe was among the few African countries that had implemented stringent travel restrictions.

"An epidemic-modelling report suggests that a combination of case isolation, home quarantine and social distancing of over 70-year-olds could reduce peak critical care demand by two-thirds and halve the number of deaths," said the AU.

The AU added that social distancing, home isolation of cases and school and university closures had the potential to suppress transmission of Covid-19.

Zimbabwe has closed schools and universities, among other measures to mitigate effects of the disease.

The continental body has also urged countries in Africa to implement more stringent measures to contain the pandemic, which has devastated the continent and impacted negatively on economic development.

"To avoid rebound in transmission, these policies would need to be maintained until large stocks of vaccines are available (which could be in 18 months)," said the AU.

Statistics gathered by the AU show that as of Wednesday, North Africa was the hardest hit on the continent with 952 cases, followed by Southern Africa with 731.

West Africa, in third position, had recorded 412 cases followed by East Africa with 172 cases. Central Africa was the least affected.

Covid-19 has been described as an aggressive disease, which has affected Africa and is threatening millions of lives globally.

According to the AU, as of 24 February Africa had recorded one case and this rolled to 408 cases exactly a month later.

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