2020 coronavirus pandemic in Zimbabwe

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Zimbabwe
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
Index caseVictoria Falls
Arrival date20 March 2020
(1 week and 6 days)
Confirmed cases8

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Zimbabwe in March 2020.


Zimbabwe saw its first COVID-19 case from a male resident of Victoria Falls who travelled back from the UK via South Africa on 15 March.[1] No deaths have been reported initially as erroneously indicated in some sources since the patient continues with self-isolation at home and showing signs of recovery.[2]

Two more cases in the country were confirmed on 21 March, both cases were in Harare.[3] On the 23 March, it was confirmed that noted Zimbabwean journalist Zororo Makamba was the first person in the country to pass away from the virus.[4][5][6]


Before there were any confirmed cases in the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared a national emergency, putting in place travel restrictions and banning large gatherings.[7][8] The country's defence minister Oppah Muchinguri caused controversy by stating the coronavirus could be a divine punishment on Western nations for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe.[9]

On March 23, President Mnangagwa announced additional measures: 1) closure of Zimbabwe's borders to all non-essential travel, except for returning residents and cargo; 2) closure of bars, nightclubs, movie houses, swimming pools, and sporting activities; 3) restriction of all public gatherings to fewer than 50 people; and 4) restriction of hospital visits to no more than one per day.[10][11] On March 27 the government announced that the country would go into a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from the 30 March onwards.[12]


  1. ^ Marsh, Kevin Rawlinson (now); Sarah; Quinn, Ben; Perraudin, Frances; Farrer (earlier), Martin; Greenfield, Patrick; Cowie, Sam; Wintour, Patrick; Wintour, Patrick; Willsher, Kim (20 March 2020). "Coronavirus live updates: global cases top quarter of a million, as Italy sees biggest daily rise in deaths". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  2. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Zimbabwe Confirms Its First Case Of Coronavirus… More Results Pending". 20 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  3. ^ "BREAKING: Two new coronavirus cases confirmed in Harare". Bulawayo24 News. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  4. ^ Maphanga, Canny (23 March 2020). "Journalist Zororo Makamba becomes Zimbabwe's first Covid-19 death". News24. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Journalist is first person in Zimbabwe to die from Covid-19". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  6. ^ Daniels, Lou-Anne (23 March 2020). "Media personality Zororo Makamba becomes first Zimbabwe coronavirus fatality". Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Zimbabwe, Namibia Declare National Emergencies Over Virus". Bloomberg. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Zimbabwe's President declares COVID-19 a national disaster". Xinhua. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Zimbabwe, Namibia Declare National Emergencies Over Virus". GulfNews. 15 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  10. ^ Chirisa, Sharon (24 March 2020). "Coronavirus Zim Update: Ministry Of Health Statement". iHarare. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  11. ^ Chingono, Nyasha; Busari, Stephanie (24 March 2020). "Prominent 30-year-old Zimbabwe broadcaster dies of coronavirus". CNN. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Zimbabwe to go on total lockdown from Monday to combat coronavirus". Retrieved 28 March 2020.
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