News doing rounds on social media suggests that there is a suspected case of Coronavirus at Wilkins Hospital. The unnamed individual is said to have come from China, where the virus has already been confirmed in tens of thousands of people especially in Wuhan province. Thousands have succumbed to the virus.

Leading health blog, Health times also confirmed the development citing Harare City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi as their source. According to the doctor, they have moved all the patients to Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital (BRIDH) in order to carry out investigations. The Minister of Health has also, reportdly, promised to provide an update tomorrow.

Is this true?

Information suggests this is a credible case thus far. Social media however has a tendency of amplifying falsehoods and the coronavirus has been at the centre of many a viral lie.

If it is indeed true then Zimbabwe will be paying a price for it’s lethargic approach and obvious lack of concern when it comes to the risk posed by the virus. Probably afraid of angering their only remaining global ally, the government has been very muted when it comes to announcing a plan, probably because they have none.

Suggestions that visitors from China should self-quarantine are shocking. China has also made vague promises that should the virus reach Zimbabwe they would help although they didn’t specify what sort of help they would provide.

Zimbabwe has a non-functional health sector that lacks basic equipment and medical supplies. The recent cholera outbreak was unnecessary deadly even though cholera is a medieval disease that should be easy to treat.