South Africa has just confirmed it’s first case of the coronavirus. Zimbabwe is most certainly next given the fact that the country is essentially South Africa’s Nothern Province. Anyone who has traveled to and from South Africa knows how porous the border between the two countries is.

South Africa’s health ministry confirmed its first case of coronavirus in the country.

The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

The couple returned to South Africa on March 1 and the patient consulted a private practitioner two days later with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough.

The patient has been in isolation since then as well as the doctor.

Aljazeera live updates.

There is need for a plan

Currently what we have from our government is rather underwhelming. While other countries are being vigilant and spelling out their plans the government has been rather been passive. First they asked visitors to self-quarantine now they require a certificate.

One thing is for sure the South African-Zimbabwean border or any border we have for that matter is rather very porous. All people coming into Zimbabwe most certainly don’t have a certificate to prove that they don’t have coronavirus. Even if they do, the incubation period of 14 days is rather long and even during that time you could be spreading it.

Zimbabwe should be coming up with a public playbook, something akin to what the UK has published that detail how they will tackle the outbreak. As things stand we just have vague pronouncements that we are ready. A cursory observation of our health system shows we are clearly not ready.