Zim journalist succumbs to Covid-19

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Sinikiwe Marodza

Harare - Zimbabwean broadcast journalist, Zororo Makamba (30), died of coronavirus early this week, marking Zimbabwe’s first Covid-19 death.

Makamba had travelled to New York, United States of America on February 29 and returned to Zimbabwe on March 9 via South Africa.

He started showing signs of the virus on March 12 and later got worse on 19 March. He then tested positive to the virus and was admitted at Wilkins Hospital, one of Zimbabwe’s infectious diseases’ hospital, where he died after a week’s battle with the deadly virus.

Makamba was director and co-founder of Eleven Dogs Media, an online media and broadcasting company. The 30-year old journalist’s death was an eye opener to Zimbabweans and its government, since the country had only recorded two cases of the virus since its outbreak across the globe late last year.

Soon after Makamba’s death, the Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa went on to tighten restriction measures so as to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

With effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, Zimbabwe banned public gatherings of more than 50 people, closed borders to human traffic except returning residents, cargo and essential traffic.

President Mnangagwa said there will be strict screening of essential traffic, and that returning residents will also face 21 days of self-quarantine, while unnecessary travel in and around Zimbabwe was discouraged.

“Screening of essential traffic will continue to be enforced strictly in line with the best practices and guidelines prescribed by the World Health Organisation.

“All our returning residents will be subjected to strict screening procedures, including rigorous enforcement of the 21-day self-quarantine, which must not be breached for whatever reasons,” said Mnangagwa.

Night clubs, bars, beer halls, movie houses, among other things, are currently on temporary closure, and citizens were encouraged to limit market and shopping mall visits.

“With immediate effect, government has put a blanket ban on gatherings around night clubs, bars, beerhalls, movie houses, swimming pools, gymnasiums and sporting activities until further notice. I am aware that this curtailment of social activities will be hard on all of us, however such tough measures have become necessary and unavoidable for our collective safety as a nation,” President Mnangagwa added.

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