The annual malaria outbreaks in Zimbabwe have killed 131 people, while 135 585 others have been ill, between January 1 this year and last Thursday.
In a statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said 10,4 percent of those who had died were children under the age of five.
"A total of 201 malaria outbreaks have been reported throughout the country, mostly from malarious provinces such as Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East," said the ministry.
"Ninety outbreaks have been controlled. 18 690 malaria cases and 17 deaths were recorded this week. Of the reported cases, 1 935 (10,4 percent) were from the under five years of age."
In Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, 3 000 people had tested positive for malaria over the past three months but no deaths have been recorded. Acting district medical officer for the area, Dr Pepukai Mazanhi, said they had identified gold panning activities along Mazowe River and market gardening in the area as the driving factors.
"In that regard, we plan on conducting awareness, testing and treatment campaigns along the Mazowe River at the same time intensifying Covid-19 awareness campaigns in those same populations," he said.
Dr Mazanhi said the district was facing an acute shortage of personal protective equipment for staff members to protect them against Covid-19.
He asked for fuel to facilitate their movement around the area which Maramba-Pfungwe legislator Cde Tichawona Karumazondo said was provided by Government.
Cde Karumazondo confirmed the surge in malaria cases and praised the Government for quickly responding to their pleas for assistance by providing medicine and other medical sundries.