By Michell Zvanyanya
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said so far there is no need for Zimbabwe to issue trade or travel restrictions over the coronavirus first reported in China.
The virus has so far killed 81 people in China and 2 000 cases have been confirmed.
At least 44 cases have also been confirmed in other countries including in Thailand, the United States of America and Australia.
There have been no deaths outside China.
In an interview yesterday, WHO Medical Officer Dr Anderson Chimusoro said there is no need for Zimbabwe to impose any trade and travel restrictions following the outbreak of the virus in China.
“There are no indications for such restrictions as yet. This is because Coronaviruses are largely transmitted from animals to people.
“The virus is new and so far, the spread of the disease is concentrated around people who are connected to the meat market,” said Dr Chimusoro.
He said measures should be taken to reduce incidences of acute respiratory infections in the country.
“It is however, prudent to advise our population or health workers on the need to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections by following some of these measures which include avoiding close contact with people suffering from the acute respiratory infections, frequent handwashing especially after contact with the people or their environment.
“When visiting live animal markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals,” said Dr Chimusoro.
Last week, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said it has started monitoring people coming into the country from China to guard against the virus.
The Ministry said WHO recommends that all countries, including Zimbabwe, should undertake actions stipulated in the International Health recommendations when dealing with the outbreak.
These include the availability of trained staff and appropriate space and stockpile of adequate equipment at points of entry for assessing and managing ill patients detected before travel and on arrival and strengthening capacity for active surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, contact tracing, case management, infection prevention and control as well as risk communication. The Chronicle