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Scores dead in malaria epidemic

Scores dead in malaria epidemic

by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News)
MORE than 130 people have died from a resurgent outbreak of malaria in Zimbabwe.

This is the latest health setback for the Southern African country whose resources have already been strained by the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the deaths have been documented from the malaria-prone provinces including Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo.

“The cumulative figures for malaria are 135 585 and 131 deaths,” the ministry stated.

It disclosed in the past week alone, 18 690 cases had been reported across the country.

More than 1 900 of these cases were from children below the age of five.

However, there are fears the country could be mistaking coronavirus (COVID-19) cases for malaria.

Zimbabwe has confirmed 25 cases of the virus and three deaths.

Experts believe the COVID-19 cases could be higher than reported as a result of insufficient testing capacities in the impoverished country.

Malaria, a mosquito-borne infectious disease, and COVID-19 have some similar symptoms including fever and headaches.

Malaria risk is high throughout the year but highest from November to June.

At the end of April, Zimbabwe imposed a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The lockdown was set to end on Tuesday (April 21) but President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Sunday announced an extension by two weeks.

– CAJ News

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