(Last Updated on January 23, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday said the government has been engaging countries that have developed vaccines and will soon roll out the Covid-19 vaccination in the country.
Addressing the nation today, he said the government will soon receive the recommendations from the health experts who have been assessing the various vaccines available.
“Government has and is engaging countries that have developed vaccines. Help and relief is on the way, our experts who have been assessing different vaccines are very close to finalising the course to recommend to our nation. A course which will bring relief and which we will roll out across the length and breadth of our nation so we do not lose more lives than has been inevitable,” said Mnangagwa.
Last week, vice president and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga said the country was adopting a ‘measured approach’ whereby the government was monitoring developments in the vaccination in other countries before rolling out its process.
Today Mnangagwa said the course was to ensure that the vaccines are both safe and effective, adding that consultations were already underway to rope in the private sector so that efforts and resources are pulled together for “a definitive national response.”
Following the few weeks which have seen numbers for both infections and fatalities surge, Mnangagwa admitted that the situation was dire. However, he said there were signs of hope as the recovery rate has started going up.
“For our nation, the numbers of infections have gone past 30 000 with indications pointing to more infections in the coming hours, days, weeks and even months. To date, we have lost over 962 of our beloved ones and soon we will reach and even pass the grim mark of a thousand.
“The situation is very worrisome and threatens to become dire. There is hope however, our recovery rates are once more beginning to clip up. While we are facing increasing number of cases requiring hospitalisation and requiring close professional care, there is scope for increasing our capacities to respond in order to cope with likely upsurge,” he added.
Mnangagwa paid tribute to the front line health workers who have continued to risk their lives and sacrifice to help the nation fight this pandemic.
He added that the frontline workers will be receiving the vaccine first once the country gets it.
To date, four ministers have died due to the virus with Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo and Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza both succumbing to Covid-19 this week.
As of 22 January 2021, Zimbabwe has recorded 30 523 positive cases and 962 deaths.
Level four of the National Lockdown was recently reintroduced to curb the spread, however, some have questioned the government’s response framework.