A prominent 30-year-old television journalist has died in Zimbabwe after contracting the coronavirus.
Zororo Makamba was one of the two people who tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday and is the first person to die in the country from the virus.
He was admitted to hospital in the capital Harare after exhibiting flu-like symptoms last Thursday, the health ministry said in a statement.
Makamba contracted the disease while he was in New York and was in isolation at Wilkins hospital, Harare’s only isolation facility.
A childhood friend of Makamba’s told CNN he was suffering from a rare condition known as Myasthenia gravis, a chronic, neuromuscular illness, and had undergone surgery to remove a tumor from his chest last year.
Zimbabwe’s information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said she received the news with “extreme sadness and deep sense of shock.”
Makamba had traveled to New York on February 29 and returned to his home in Harare on March 9.
In a statement by the Health Minister Obadiah Moyo, Makamba began to exhibit mild flu-like symptoms a few days later on March 12 after which he contacted his doctor a week later and he was advised to self-isolate.
On arrival at hospital, Makamba developed severe respiratory distress and was kept in isolation under supervision from health practitioners.
Authorities are now tracing people who came into contact with him.
Meanwhile, in an address to the nation on Monday night, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the closure of all borders except for returning residents and cargo effective immediately.