Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Government has activated health emergency systems to respond to the Covid-19 variant — B.1.1.529 — detected in neighboring countries, South Africa and Botswana.
The variant described as, ‘the worst one we’ve seen so far’ is not yet in Zimbabwe.
This particular variant has presented the world with a huge challenge and fears of the latest mutant has sparked Africa travel curbs starting with the United Kingdom temporarily suspending direct flights from some Southern African countries including Zimbabwe.
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga urged the nation to remain calm and told a Health Professions Authority congress this morning that Zimbabwe has to escalate its response mechanism to contain the new variant.
Zimbabwe has so far defied the odds with a thorough and effective response to the pandemic, including a comprehensive curb of the highly infectious – B.1. 617 – widely known as the Indian variant.
“With regards to the recent new Covid-19 variants being reported in the media, the country should not panic because we are very prepared,” said Vice President Chiwenga.
“The ramping up of our vaccination programme in the past month has seen marked increase in the vaccination uptake.
“We remain focused on this very critical initiative that is designed to protect the nation from the negative impact of any new variants.
“Meanwhile, our scientists are already doing genomic sequencing for identification of any new variants hence help support timely strengthening of our response,” said VP Chiwenga.