BEITBRIDGE, Zimbabwe -- When WHO, National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) and Medsure Healthcare teams reached Beitbridge, 640km from Harare, twelve laboratory personnel from Beitbridge Hospital had already tested more than 6000 samples for COVID-19. The tests were done using a GeneXpert machine with cartridges for COVID-19 testing and Real Time- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, similar to the rapid testing kit used for HIV. GeneXpert machines are normally used to diagnose tuberculosis.
“The Abbott Platform tests 94 samples at a time. Together with our three GeneXpert machines which run four tests on each machine at once and the PCR, I am 100% confident we will be able to test more samples a day. We have already run 500 PCR tests before with our average daily testing at...
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 8, 2020/ -- HIGHLIGHTS
As of 5 August, 4,339 COVID-19 cases and 84 deaths were conﬁrmed, with 75 per cent of cases due to local transmission.From 1 April to 5 August, over 14,044 Zimbabwean migrants returned from neighbouring countries, with over 1,300 returnees being quarantined.WFP projects a 50 per cent increase in food insecurity, affecting 8.6 million people by the end of 2020 due to drought, economic recession and COVID-19.Acute malnutrition is expected to increase by 15 per cent in 2020, with an additional 15,000 children wasted.Download Report: https://bit.ly/3ihJeZDSituation OverviewThe United Nations and humanitarian partners revised the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) in July to update the response to the COVID-19 outbreak integrating a multisect...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, August 4, 2020/ -- Event: Update on Lockdown Restrictions and Availability of Commercial Flights
On July 21, President Mnangagwa announced new restrictions under Zimbabwe’s lockdown regulations including: implementing a curfew from 6am to 6pm except for essential services. Given the new surge of reported cases of COVID -19 in Zimbabwe, the following types of businesses can only be open from 8am to 3pm daily:Fuel outletsRestaurantsBanksBureaux de changesCourts of lawParliamentary CommitteesSupermarketsVegetable marketsCommercial and manufacturing enterprisesStudent examsInternational commercial flight options currently exist in Zimbabwe. S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared...
HARARE — Zimbabwean agriculture minister Perrance Shiri died of COVID-19, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Thursday.
Shiri, a retired Air Chief Marshall, died early Wednesday morning, a few days after his driver succumbed to the virus.
Mnangagwa, accompanied by the country’s two vice presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, told mourners gathered at Shiri’s home in Harare that post mortem results had revealed that the late national hero died of COVID-19.
He said as a result, Shiri’s burial at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Friday will be done in line with World Health Organization guidelines on COVID-19.
Shiri was the first cabinet minister in Zimbabwe to die of COVID-19.
Zimbabwe has reported 2,879 COVID-19 cases, with 41 deaths and 887 recoveries ...
The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated an already severe hunger crisis in ZimbabweNEW YORK, United States of America, July 30, 2020/ -- The World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently seeking more international support to prevent millions of Zimbabweans plunging deeper into hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, UN humanitarians warned on Thursday.In an appeal for an additional $250 million to support emergency relief for millions of vulnerable people, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that by the end of the year, the number of food-insecure people in the southern African nation, is expected to surge by almost 50 per cent, to 8.6 million.Triple shockThat represents around 60 per cent of the population, the agency said in a statement, blaming d...
ROME, Italy, July 30, 2020/ -- With COVID-19 aggravating an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for an additional US$250 million to support a rapidly expanding emergency operation for millions at-risk.
WFP projections indicate that by year’s end, the number of food insecure Zimbabweans will have surged by almost 50 percent to touch 8.6 million – a staggering 60 percent of the population – owing to the combined effects of drought, economic recession and the pandemic.“Many Zimbabwean families are suffering the ravages of acute hunger, and their plight will get worse before it gets better”, said Lola Castro, WFP’s Regional Director for Southern Africa. “We need the international community to step up now to help us prevent ...
A prominent investigative journalist in Zimbabwe who was arrested this week says he is being persecuted for exposing corruption.
Chin’ono, 49, was detained on Monday and has been held in police custody since.
He has been formally charged with incitement of public violence and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
His lawyers have accused authorities of persecution after magistrates postponed a decision on bail for 24 hours, blaming a Covid-19 curfew. During a bail hearing on Wednesday, magistrates said a new curfew obliged them to halt proceedings for at least a day.
“I am in high spirits. I have done nothing wrong. I am just being prosecuted for exposing corruption,” Chin’ono said at court.
Authorities had announced a new lockdown on Tuesday to stem the rapid s...
ROME, Italy, July 23, 2020/ -- The Government of Zimbhas declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic a national disaster and has introduced several urgent and essential health-related measures, including a national lockdown, now partially eased.
The effects of these essential COVID-19 measures are having repercussions on the country’s already fragile situation and are expected to impact agricultural livelihoods and food security. Supply chain disruptions are likely to result in limited access to agricultural inputs and further increases in food prices, adding to the ongoing hyperinflation. Access of vulnerable pastoralists to grazing land may be hindered. The impact on formal and informal market structures will continue to reduce the ability of smallholder farmers and tra...
Zimbabwe’s authorities have warned it will deal with participants in planned protests for July 31 against alleged public sector corruption amid deteriorating economy like “terrorists”, threatening them with jail, local media reported Monday.
The warning came after the organizers of the anticipated protests, called by the opposition as well as civil society groups, said they will go ahead with rallies whether authorities permit them or not and until the government takes action towards rampant public sector corruption and initiate national dialogue to rescue Zimbabwe from crisis, the local website Daily News reported.
“That’s our response as government. We are very ready," Daily News quoted Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
“Going forward you will hear the president making pronounc...
HARARE --- More than 105,000 people have been arrested in Zimbabwe since March for violating regulations aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, police say.
Around 1,000 were arrested in the last two days for "unnecessary movement" or for not wearing face masks, they add.
Restrictions have been eased slightly in the country, where more than 1,500 infections have been confirmed.
Critics accuse the government of using the measures to target the opposition and arrest activists, which it denies.
Opposition and civil society groups are mobilising for nationwide protests on 31 July to demand that President Emmerson Mnangagwa step down.
Under current regulations, all Zimbabweans returning from abroad are required to remain in quarantine for three weeks at a government-approved...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, July 17, 2020/ -- An op-ed by the UK and Switzerland Ambassadors to Zimbabwe, on how they are taking action to keep remittances flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank says remittances to low and middle income countries will fall by 20% in 2020 because of coronavirus. The UK and Switzerland are taking action.
The coronavirus pandemic and its economic effects pose a serious threat to remittance flows to Zimbabwe. Each year, Zimbabwean expats send millions of dollars in cash and groceries to their families back home, helping them meet food, education, housing and health needs, and cope with unexpected financial shocks.
This support is significant: in 2018 the World Bank put the figure of total remittances sent back to Zimbabwe at $1.9 billion or $125 ...
Dr Obadiah Moyo, Zimbabwe's Minister of Health and Childcare, has been fired following his involvement in a US$60-million deal for the procurement of Covid-19 medical supplies by Drax International, a company allegedly linked to the first family.
A statement issued on 7 July by the Chief Secretary to the president and cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, reads:
"Please be advised that his excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa has removed Dr Obediah Moyo [sic] from the office of Cabinet Minister with immediate effect... for conduct inappropriate for a government Minister."
Dr Moyo is currently out on bail of Zim$50,000 (US$2000). Dr Moyo is expected to appear in court on 31 July 2020. After he was arrested on Friday 19 June over allegations of attempting to embezzle government funds by awar...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, July 8, 2020/ -- Highlights of the situation report
Eighteen (18) cases tested positive for COVID-19. These include returnees from South Africa (16) and 2 local cases who are isolated.Investigations are underway to establish the source of infection for the local case.We regret to report a facility death of a male aged 54, from Bulawayo Province who tested positive with no history of travel and had co-morbidities.New recoveries were reported by the following provinces Harare (12), Masvingo (2) and Midlands (2).253 RDT screening tests and 312 PCR diagnostic tests were done. The cumulative number of tests done to date is 80654 (47086 RDT and 33568 PCR).To date the total number of confirmed cases is 734; recovered 197, active cases 528 and 9 deaths, since the onset of the...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, July 5, 2020/ -- Highlights of the situation report
Seventy-three (73) cases tested positive for COVID-19. These include returnees from South Africa (55), Botswana (3), Mozambique (3), USA (2), Australia (1), Zambia (1) and 8 local cases who are isolated.Two of the local cases are contacts of known confirmed cases, investigations are underway to establish the source of infection for the other (6) cases.We regret to report a facility death of a female aged 21, from Harare Province, who tested positive with no history of travel and had co-morbidities.New recoveries were reported by Midlands Province (4) and Mashonaland East Province (1).2247 RDT screening tests and 733 PCR diagnostic tests were done. The cumulative number of tests done to date is 78465 (45620 RDT and 32...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 29, 2020/ -- Highlights of the situation report
Seven (7) cases tested positive for COVID-19. These include returnees from South Africa (2), Botswana (1) and 4 local cases who are isolated.Three (3) of the local cases are contacts to a known confirmed case, investigations are underway to establish the source of infection for the other case.Bulawayo Province reported 10 new recoveries.We regret to report one facility death of a male aged 49 from Bulawayo Province, who tested positive with a history of travel from South Africa and had co-morbidities.121 RDT screening tests and 272 PCR diagnostic tests were done. The cumulative number of tests done to date is 67105 (36734 RDT and 30371 PCR).To date the total number of confirmed cases is 574; recovered 152, active ca...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 29, 2020/ -- The international Organization of Migration (IOM) is scaling up operation to respond to the new evolving COVID-19 pandemic challenge in Zimbabwe.
As co-lead of the Point of Entry pillar, IOM is providing technical support to the government in the COVID-19 National response plan and strengthening national capacity in migration management, ensuring all returnees are screened, registered profiled and transported to the respective provincial quarantine facilities. So, far some 10.000 returnees have been supported to come home through the main border posts.
There are currently 1,792 individuals quarantined in Government-operated centres.
Government is operating 44 quarantine centres, while private quarantine...
Zimbabwe’s fuel prices will go up by as much as 152% on Wednesday, the energy regulator said, after the government removed a fixed exchange rate in place since March.
The last time the southern African country saw a similar steep rise in fuel prices, in January 2019, violent protests broke out, leaving as many as 17 people dead after a crackdown by the security forces.
Zimbabwe is already going through its worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by high inflation, food and medical shortages.
The price of petrol will go up to 71.62 Zimbabwe dollars (U.S. $1.25) per litre, from 28.96 Zimbabwe dollars previously, the regulator announced on Tuesday night. The diesel price will now be 62.77 Zimbabwe dollars from 24.93 Zimbabwe dollars.
Zimbabwe began weekly foreign currency aucti...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 22, 2020 -- Event: Commercial Flights Available
International commercial flight options currently exist in Zimbabwe. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Zimbabwe at this time.Ethiopian Airlines reports it has resumed flights from Harare to the United States. The next flights are scheduled for today, Sunday, June 21 at 13:40, and Monday, June 22, at 13:40. Flights to Dulles, VA, and/or Chicago, IL, are scheduled thereafter on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. However, flight schedules and costs are subject to change....
Zimbabwe's health minister has been granted bail after appearing in court.
Obadiah Moyo was arrested on Friday after the government came under pressure from the opposition and on social media over a scandal surrounding the procurement of coronavirus tests and equipment.
He faces corruption charges related to a $20m (£16m) contract awarded to a Hungary-registered firm, allegedly without going through proper processes.
The government has not commented.
My Moyo is the second minister in Emmerson Mnangagwa's cabinet to face corruption charges.
He arrived in court in a state-issued luxury car accompanied by aides, the BBC's Harare correspondent Shingai Nyoka says.
During the hearing, he was charged with several counts of criminal abuse of office and ordered to surrender his p...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 19, 2020/ -- The European Union (EU) and Sweden have provided significant new funding to the multi-donor Health Development Fund (HDF) – managed by UNICEF and UNFPA. The HDF supports health system strengthening in Zimbabwe since its inception in 2011 under the Health Transition Fund.
The EU has provided new funds amounting to over USD 41 million as additional top up funding to the HDF. Sweden has contributed an additional USD 2 million for direct use in 2020. These significant contributions will be combined with funds from the other HDF donors including DFID, Irish Aid and the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), to finance the prioritised interventions across the seven thematic areas of the HDF programme.
The thematic areas include maternal, new-born and child hea...