Zim has no single case of Ebola: Minister

HARARE - Zimbabwe has been declared free of the deadly Ebola virus that has killed almost 3 000 people in West Africa.

This comes in the wake of false Namibian media reports that the haemorrhagic fever had been detected in Zimbabwe.

Legislators yesterday asked deputy Health and Child Care minister Paul Chimedza in Senate to clarify whether Zimbabwe had detected any cases of Ebola.

Priscah Mupfumira, Zanu PF Mashonaland West Senator, asked Chimedza to set the record straight on the Ebola outbreak.

“Last week, we had minister of Health David Parirenyatwa telling us that we are not facing Ebola in this country,” Mupfumira said. 

“We are worried with media reports coming from Namibia daily press that Zimbabwe has an Ebola outbreak and (Namibia) was banning people from travelling to Zimbabwe. Is there any truth in these stories?”

Chimedza said they were going to approach Windhoek to protest the false report.

“We have read the story that was published in a Namibian daily newspapers that was made by their minister of Health Richard Kamwi in New York that  Zimbabwe is facing Ebola and warning people not to come to Zimbabwe,” Chimedza said.

“This is bad for us as a country as it affects tourists wanting to come to our country.

“We shall get hold of minister  Kamwi to correct his statement that Zimbabwe has an Ebola outbreak and we shall use proper procedures and he should inform  the people in his country that there is no Ebola in Zimbabwe.”

Chimedza said Zimbabwe had not recorded any Ebola case.

“It is not correct as we have not recorded a single case of Ebola in this country,” Chimedza said.

“We shall approach Namibia which is our sister and friendly country in the region and tell them the correct story of our  situation and how we are  on the outlook for Ebola in the country.”

He said Parirenyatwa was chairing the Sadc committee on ministers of Health which met two weeks ago to discuss how to prevent Ebola. Chimedza said Kamwi was present at that meeting and knows the truth.

“We must do some press damage control because these are unfounded rumours,” he said.

“We had 585 visitors coming to Zimbabwe from countries that had Ebola but none of them had the Ebola virus and (they)are under strict surveillance and we are doing it diligently to monitor them.”

Chimedza said the country remained on high alert for all visitors coming into Zimbabwe from countries where the disease has been detected, including DRC, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry.

He said workers at border posts had been provided with gloves and other protective clothing to prevent contracting the Ebola virus.

He said they were intensifying screening at border posts.

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