KEY POINTS

  •  Zororo Makamba, 30, was a renowned TV journalist in Zimbabwe
  • This is the first coronavirus-related death in the country
  • Makamba reportedly travelled to New York in late February

A renowned television journalist in Zimbabwe, Zororo Makamba, 30, died of the novel coronavirus Monday, marking the first death in the country as a result of the viral epidemic. He was one of the two persons to fall victim to the disease in the country so far.

Dr. Obediah Moyo, the Minister of Health and Child Care, confirmed the death of Makamba, according to local channel ZBC News. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Makamba on Thursday was rushed to a hospital in Harare after exhibiting flu-like symptoms. He reportedly had traveled to New York on Feb. 29 and returned to his home on March 9.

"Zororo embodied what comes to mind when we talk about Africa's next generation being our hope," Vimbai Muthinhiri, local TV personality and executive producer told CNN. "He was Zo, our little brother and ever happy friend who always saw a silver lining in every situation. It's so difficult to accept that someone who was so full of life will no longer call to check in again."

"As we mourn him the whole nation should take the threat of COVID 1 very seriously. Let's all follow due medical precautions as announced by the Ministry of Health and by the World Health Organization," Zimbabwe's information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, told the publication.

Authorities were searching for people who came into contact with him. The Health Ministry said the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory tested a total of 15 suspected and their possible contact cases on Monday, all of which came back negative for COVID-19.