Monday, 21 June 2021

COVID-19 HITTING UNVACCINATED PEOPLE THE MOST IN ZIM : GOVT

Unvaccinated people are dominating the present run of Covid-19 positive cases, with most infected people showing symptoms and most clusters of infection being initiated by someone who became infected outside Zimbabwe, says Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro.

While the vaccines were helping, he said, vaccinated people needed to keep wearing face masks, sanitising and observing social distancing.

With the Ministry of Health and Child Care pushing vaccination, progress can be maintained since Zimbabwe was set to take delivery of another large batch of vaccines this week as the Government steps up efforts to speed up the vaccination programme.

Said Dr Mangwiro: “The positive cases we are getting are mostly those who are not vaccinated, and we are finding out that most of them are asymptomatic. The hotspots are mainly Mashonaland West, Bulawayo, Manicaland.

“Mass vaccination in border towns had been critical with low cases in those areas. Fortunately, our border towns like Victoria Falls where we had our first mass vaccination and the uptake was good. I was talking to Dr Mamvura, the District Medical Officer for Victoria Falls, and his cases are quite low, about six. Also Plumtree did a massive campaign to vaccinate, and so figures are very low.”

Statistics from border towns, Dr Mangwiro said, showed that most of the new cases were imported, meaning they came from other countries and not from within.

“You can see that vaccination is an advantage and we encourage people to get vaccinated.”

Zimbabwe has been vaccinating its citizens using the highly rated Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, which have both been granted emergency use authorisation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a combined 1,7 million doses of the two vaccines has formed the mainstay of the Zimbabwean vaccination effort.

In addition, India has donated 37 000 doses of Covaxin while 25 000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine were procured by a mining company.

Research conducted by the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund revealed that the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine showed a 97,6 percent efficacy.

Added Dr Mangwiro: “More vaccines are expected in the country this coming week and we encourage people to get vaccinated and keep up the pressure and momentum on vaccination.”

He encouraged those that have already been vaccinated to continue adhering to the prescribed protocols such as wearing face masks, staying indoors unless it becomes extremely necessary to go out, washing hands, sanitisation and maintaining social distance, to minimise chances of them getting infected.

Zimbabwe introduced a new range of restrictions recently and the Government encouraged people to adhere to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“Let us continue to take care, to social distance and listen to what has been directed by President Mnangagwa, if there is a lockdown let us listen, if there are restrictions let us listen. We get very worried if there is business as usual in some areas,” said Dr Mangwiro. Herald

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