HEALTH Minister Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia has confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19.
At the press briefing today, Dr Chilufya said a Zambian couple that had gone to France on holiday with their two children tested positive for the virus and have since been quarantined.
Dr Chitalu said the husband was the only one who was showing symptoms while his wife was asymptotic. Reports say the couple's children tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Zambia's government decided to shut down all educational institutions later this week amid coronavirus outbreak fears, local media reported Tuesday.
Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said the decision, which takes effect Friday, is a measure to prevent the global outbreak that has not been recorded in Zambia, the Lusaka Times website reported.
Chilufya said precautions include training more than 500 health care workers to treat the virus known as COVID-19, restrictions on foreign travel, including rescheduling all avoidable travel, setting two to14-day quarantine for travelers coming from "high-risk" nations if symptomatic, as well as health screenings at all entry points to the country, according to the website.
The deadly virus has hit 28 African nations with Zambia being the latest.
The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to nearly 150 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.
Out of 189,233 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,500, while more than 80,000 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.