Policy Brief: A Preliminary Assessment of the Socio-economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID -19) on Zimbabwe


The novel coronavirus was first reported as a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China on 31 December 2019. Since then, the virus, and COVID -19, the disease that it causes, has spread fast across the globe, including Zimbabwe01. Due the fast spread of the disease, both in terms of casualties and geographic coverage, the World Health Organization (WHO), declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, and thereafter, a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Being a novel disease, there are certain epidemiological features that remain unclear and as such it is not possible to determine, with certainty, how the pandemic will evolve. This Policy Brief presents a preliminary assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID -19 on Zimbabwe on the basis of some known and observable facts as opposed to a detailed and robust analysis. It identifies the possible impact transmission channels based on the structure of Zimbabwean economy, it’s geography and socio-political factors; the possible effects on Zimbabwean socio-economic development; and proffers some policy recommendations.