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500k doses for Covid-19 hotspots

by Staff Reporter
28 Jun 2021 at 06:22hrs | Views
Dr John Mangwiro - Health and Child Care Deputy Minister
Vaccinations are being stepped up in identified Covid-19 hotspots, now that 500 000 more doses arrived on Saturday with another 2 million expected at the end of this week, to help break the chains of infection in the areas.

Zimbabwe has seen rising cases over the past two weeks, most concentrated in a few districts and a number of more isolated hotspots, with an indication of the rise in infection being the two weeks which has seen the total number of active cases going up to 6 532 by Saturday, that is the number of people who became infected and are still recovering.

Mashonaland West, which holds three of the four districts under intensified local lockdown, saw more than half of the total number of new Zimbabwean cases over the weekend, 411 of the 801 recorded. Besides the Kariba, Hurungwe and Makonde districts, Kwekwe district, where the first case of the Delta variant was reported by a resident returning from India, is under the intensified special lockdown and warnings have been given about hotspots in Chiredzi and three northern suburbs of Bulawayo.

So far since the first case last year, Zimbabwe has recorded 46 018 cases of  Covid-19, with 37 761 recoveries and 1 725 deaths.

On Saturday, an order of 500 000 Sinopharm doses bought from China arrived in Harare and an additional two million doses are expected by the end of the week.

Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said the latest batch of doses, bought by Treasury, would go a long way to cover all the areas classified as hotspots. The 500 000 are enough for 250 000 people to get both doses.

"The vaccines will be distributed to all the border towns, the areas that have been classified as hotspots, tobacco auction floors, cotton sales floors, GMB markets and market places like Mbare Musika, Renkini in Bulawayo and others. The Ministry of Finance has said after the two million doses arrive next week, we will receive more the following month," he said.

Finance and economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube on Saturday said more than seven million doses will have been procured by the end of next month.

"In terms of our vaccination programme, this is yet another addition to the roadmap for the acquisition of vaccines. We have received 500 000 today, by end of next week we will receive another two million, two weeks after that we want to bring another 1,5 million. We want to carry on so that by end of August we bring in another 3,5 million vaccines again from China," said Prof Ncube.

With US$70 million still available in Government coffers for the purchase of more vaccines, authorities reckon the enhanced regular supplies with help accelerate progress towards the target of 10 million vaccinated people, which will require 20 million doses.

Government has so far bought 1,7 million doses of Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines and received donations of another 400 000 doses of Sinopharm from the Chinese government and an additional 35 000 doses of a similar Indian vaccine from the government of India.

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces received a special donation of 100 000 Sinopharm doses from the Chinese People's Liberation Army, while Diamond producer Alrosa, delivered a consignment of 25 000 doses of the Russian manufactured vaccine — Sputnik V — with additional doses of an equal amount set to be delivered soon.

The total amount of vaccine that has now landed in Zimbabwe is 2,26 million doses. As of Saturday, 747 330 people had received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, while 502 178 had been fully vaccinated.

Source - Herald