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'Zimbabwe has no COVID-19 testing capability' declares ex-Google director and Contagion film star

22 Mar 2020 at 09:53hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is reporting zero to little Corona Virus (COVID-19) infection cases because the country has no testing capabilities says, Dr. Larry Brilliant, the famous American epidemiologist who helped eradicate Smallpox; the former executive director of and consultant doctor on the hit Hollywood horror film Contagion.

"(Few cases) is not because Zimbabwe has no virus," declared Dr. Brilliant on Friday in a long interview with WIRED, the world's most famous technology magazine.

14 years ago, Dr. Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, spoke to a TED audience and described what the next pandemic would look like. At the time, it sounded almost too horrible to take seriously. "A billion people would get sick," he said. "As many as 165 million people would die. There would be a global recession and depression, and the cost to our economy of $1 to $3 trillion would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their jobs and their health care benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable."

Now the unthinkable is here, and Brilliant, the Chairman of the board of Ending Pandemics, is sharing expertise with those on the front lines. We are a long way from 100 million deaths due to the novel coronavirus, but it has turned our world upside down, Dr. Brilliant says. Dr. Brilliant warned the world ahead not only in talks and writings, but as the senior technical advisor for the pandemic horror film Contagion, now a top streaming selection for the homebound. Besides working with the World Health Organization in the effort to end smallpox, Brilliant, who is now 75, has fought flu, polio, and blindness; once led Google's nonprofit wing,; co-founded the conferencing system the Well; and has travelled with the Grateful Dead.

On Sunday 21 March, Zimbabwe's health minister, Mr. Obadiah Moyo confirmed the country's second case of COVID-19. According to the minister, the patient a 30 year old male resident of Harare who travelled to New York and returned on 12 March, got progressively ill until his condition worsened on Friday. On Saturday the patient developed severe respiratory difficulties and is being hospitalized at Wilkins Hospital in the capital Harare.

Source - Ray Mwareya in Toronto, Canada
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