Rwanda coronavirus cases rise to 17 as Zimbabwe reports first patient

Rwanda coronavirus cases rise to 17 as Zimbabwe reports first patient
Zimbabwe's health workers wear protective suits during a training exercise aimed at preparing workers to deal with any potential coronavirus cases at a hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/

In Summary

Coronavirus cases in Africa 
  • Egypt 285
  • South Africa 240
  • Algeria 94
  • Morocco 86
  • Tunisia 54
  • Burkina Faso 40
  • Senegal 47
  • Cameroon 27
  • DRC 18
  • Rwanda 17
  • Ghana 16
  • Nigeria 12
  • Ivory Coast 9
  • Ethiopia 9
  • Togo 9
  • Kenya 7
  • Equatorial Guinea 6
  • Tanzania 6
  • Gabon 4
  • CAR 3
  • Congo 3
  • Madagascar 3
  • Namibia 3
  • Sudan 2
  • Benin 2
  • Guinea 2
  • Liberia 2
  • Zambia 2
  • Countries with one coronavirus case are Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Gambia, Niger, Somalia and Eswatini
Source: Worldometers, March 21, 2020

Rwanda’s Health Ministry has confirmed six new cases of the novel coronavirus bringing the total number of patients with COVID-19 disease to 17.

According to The New Times newspaper,  one of them is a 30-year-old French woman whose partner had earlier been diagnosed with the virus.

Their son aged 10 months has also contracted the COVID-19 disease.

Another case that was confirmed on Friday is a 32-year-old Rwandese man who arrived in the country from Dubai on March 19.

A 26-year-old Swedish man who arrived at Kigali International Airport on March3 was also confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.

The other two cases are Rwandese citizens: one aged 32 another 24 years.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Friday.

A 38-year old man who returned from the United Kingdom on March 15 tested positive.

In a statement, the ministry said the man, who visited Britain a week ago and returned home in Victoria Falls, tested positive for the disease following prescribed laboratory tests.

The ministry identified the person as a 38 year-old Caucasian male resident.

“This evening, Friday 20th March 2020, the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital confirmed that a suspected case of COVID-19 has tested positive.”

The patient travelled to Manchester, United Kingdom, on March 7th and returned home eight days later after passing through South Africa.

“After arrival he put himself on self-quarantine at home as per our advice to all travelers coming from COVID-19 affected countries. On realizing that he was not feeling too well he contacted his general practitioner by telephone advising him that he had a persistent cough and sneezing. The GP alerted the local COVID-19 Rapid Response Team who immediately went to assess him and recommended that he continue self-isolation at home. Specimens were collected and ferried to the Rerefence lab for testing,” the statement read in part.

According to the Ministry of Health, the person continued with self-isolation at home “and is now showing signs of recovery after supportive management at home.”

The ministry noted that “as a result of our preparedness, we managed to identify this first case in a timely fashion and ensure that he was appropriately managed. Our teams are now engaged in contact tracing and are being assisted by the patient himself. We call for the nation to be calm as we deal with this first cases of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.”

Several suspected cases of coronavirus have been cleared in Zimbabwe following laboratory tests in the country and the Southern African Development Community testing center in South Africa.

The global death toll for the coronavirus pandemic as it spreads around the world has surpassed 10,000 people. COVID-19 has infected more than 244,500 people.

Additional report from Reuters and VOA

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