Nigeria, Zimbabwe confirm first COVID-19 deaths

Nigeria confirmed its first fatality from coronavirus, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said in a tweet yesterday.

The patient was a 67-year-old man who returned following a medical procedure in the United Kingdom with underlying medical conditions including multiple myeloma and diabetes and was undergoing chemotherapy, the NCDC said.

The death of Zimbabwean broadcaster Zororo Makamba, 30, is a tragic illustration that even the young can succumb to coronavirus.

Makamba had a high profile as a broadcaster and had come from a wealthy family.

He was diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday, and his condition deteriorated rapidly after he was admitted to an isolation centre in the capital, Harare.

Meanwhile, the first man to contract the virus is said to be recovering well in self-isolation.

There are concerns about Zimbabwe’s ability to cope with the disease, even if there are only a few cases. A nation which, at the best of times, has shortages of basics such as painkillers, gloves and masks, and a more critical shortage of ventilators and oxygen tanks.

As the reality sinks in, Zimbabweans have begun observing a ban on large gatherings.

On Sunday, churches were largely empty and yesterday banking halls and some supermarkets are limiting the number of people within their premises.

A 30-year-old man has become the first person to die of coronavirus in Zimbabwe, state-owned broadcaster ZBC has tweeted.

Zororo Makamba, who was a journalist, broadcaster and film-maker, was diagnosed with the virus on Saturday.

He had visited the US late last month and had returned home via South Africa, AFP news agency reports. -Reuters/AFP

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