Sunday, 14 February 2021


PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will today officially receive the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines which include a donation of 200 000 jabs from the Chinse government.

The President will also address the nation on the way forward regarding the lockdown. The Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochum will present the donation to the President at State House.

Last week, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in addition to 200 000 jabs from the Chinese Government, Zimbabwe had also purchased 600 000 jabs from the same country.

The President’s address on the way forward regarding the lockdown will be broadcast live from State House.

The Government extended Level 4 National lockdown by 14-days at the end of last month as it battles to contain the pandemic which has claimed 1 398 lives.

The level 4 lockdown which came into effect on January 5, has stabilised the situation with the number of new infections decreasing substantially. The recovery rate which had dropped to about 54 percent has improved and is now more than 80 percent.

Cumulative cases as at 1 January 2021 were 14 084 and deaths were 369. As at 28 January 2021, cumulative cases reached 32 646 and deaths shot up to 1 160 thereby breaching the thousand mark.

The extension of the lockdown has seen the recovery rate rising to 85,7 percent and an average of 88 cases are reported daily says the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

As at 13 February 2021, Zimbabwe had 35 104 confirmed cases, including 30 089 recoveries and 1 398 deaths.

There are 3 616 Covid-19 active cases and of those 101 are hospitalised at different designated centres countrywide.

In an interview yesterday, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said today’s the double-barrelled event will see President Mnangagwa officially receiving the vaccines from the Chinese Ambassador Mr Shaochum and then addressing the nation on the way forward in terms of the lockdown.

“The vaccines will arrive tomorrow at 3AM and a formal presentation to the HE at the State House will then follow. While we are not ignoring the concern around Covid-19, our major focus will obviously be on how we are a step higher in terms of rolling out the vaccine programme.

“Readers should be alive to the fact that while the vaccine will lessen the strength of the virus, it does not render one immune, we still need to up our game in terms of masking up, washing hands and keeping social distancing,” said Mr Charamba.

“You will see the tempo changing even in terms of public communication, we will now be focusing on the vaccine roll out. We also need to address the issue of roll out in respect of teachers as that has a bearing on school children and the calendar. It is an issue that we need to debate and then get guidance from experts as a matter of urgency as we have thousands upon thousands who are just at home, those who are fortunate are doing online learning.”

Speaking during the burial of national hero Lieutenant-General (Retired) Douglas Nyikayaramba who succumbed to Covid-19 complications at the National Heroes’ Acre last Saturday, President Mnangagwa said the way forward will be informed by scientific data and recommendations from health experts.

The President said the country had received tremendous support from the international community regarding access to vaccines.

“Government continues to assess the threat posed by the pandemic, and of course to take measures necessary to save lives. These measures are predicated on strict enforcement and adherence to World Health Organisation Protocols and the rollout of our vaccination programme.

“Let me take this opportunity to heartily thank the Chinese Government for their unqualified support which include a substantial donation of the vaccine to our nation. In the same spirit, let me thank the Governments of Russia, India and United Kingdom for extending similar support and access to vaccines at a time when some nations and corporate entities have decided to put impediments to vaccine access, or seek to profiteer from the pandemic,” he said.

President Mnangagwa added that the country was still in the thick of the pandemic and the vaccination programme would bring a lasting solution.

The Government says the vaccination programme will begin this week after the country takes delivery of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines.  Herald


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