Covid-19: Eritrea starts 21-day lockdown as Zambia records first death

Washing hands is the key advice given to stop the spread of coronavirus

Washing hands is the key advice given to stop the spread of coronavirus

ASMARA/LUSAKA, April 3 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Eritrea has begun a nationwide lockdown for 21 days to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The announcement came after the health ministry reported three new cases of the virus, putting the total number of infected individuals at 18.

One of them is a 13-year-old girl, who contracted the disease from her mother who had been abroad.

The other two patients had also arrived in the country before a ban on commercial flights, the health ministry said.

During the lockdown, all citizens in the highly-militarised state, including public sector employees, must stay at home.

One member of each household is allowed to go out to buy essential food items during the day from grocery stores, which can remain open.

Pharmacies and banks are also continuing to provide services, but other trading activities and weekly markets have been stopped.

However, those living in rural areas engaged in farming are exempt from the lockdown as they are involved in food production.

Construction and trucking would also continue to function, the health ministry said.

Meanwhile, Zambia has recorded its first death from coronavirus, with the total number of people testing positive rising to 39.

Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya confirmed at a press briefing that the death occurred Thursday morning. He said that three new cases had been recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 39.

The three new confirmed cases were recorded from the 160 tests carried out by the end of Wednesday.

He said the new cases were all locally transmitted. Chilufya said the capital Lusaka is the epicentre of the virus and urged people not to travel to and from the city. — NNN-AGENCIES