Zimbabwe will soon take delivery of another batch of 500 000 Sinopharm vaccines from China to boost the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Speaking at the 16th post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the vaccines would arrive in the country next month.
“Regarding vaccine procurement, the public is informed that delivery of the 500 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses which were ordered from China is expected in June 2021,” she said.
Treasury set aside US$10 million to purchase Covid-19 vaccines in response to the deadly pandemic and so far, 1,2 million Sinovac vaccines have already been procured from China.
To complement this, the Government has also received 400 000 Sinopharm vaccines from the Chinese government and an additional 35 000 from the government of India while the Zimbabwe Defence Forces recently received a donation of 100 000 Sinopharm doses from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The national vaccination programme was launched in February with a target to reach 10 million people with the vaccines to reach herd immunity.
As at May 25, a total of 633 635 people had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 288 437 their second dose across the country.
“Government continues to urge the public to go to their nearest health facility to receive their Covid-19 vaccine so that the country achieves the required herd immunity in order to control the spread of the disease,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The minister said the two-week lockdown on Kwekwe after the detection of the B.1.617 variant of the Covid-19 prevalent in India was part of the quick response taken to control the spread of the variant.
She said all the 31 additional samples taken from learners and staff at Goldridge Primary School, in Kwekwe, after the initial 3 positive cases previously reported, had tested negative to the disease.
“Concerning primary and secondary schools, Cabinet was advised that a total of 837 Covid-19-positive cases have been detected in schools since opening in March, 2021.
“Total recoveries in schools stand at 796, leaving the number of active cases at 39, demonstrating the effectiveness of the surveillance system and control measures in place,” Minister Mutsvangwa added.
She warned the public to continue being vigilant and observe the WHO protocols and national guidelines to ensure the country overcame the threat posed by the pandemic.