ZIMBABWE’s relationship with China and Russia continue to grow with the two countries promising to ensure that the country accesses Covid-19 vaccines as soon as possible.
Already China has made a donation of 200 000 jabs to inoculate the country’s critical groups against the respiratory disease that has killed more than two million people globally, while in Zimbabwe deaths have breached 1 000.
President Mnangagwa has lauded both China and Russia for standing with Zimbabwe at a time when some countries with the vaccines are nationalising the Covid-19 jabs that are key in ensuring that the world faces the novel pandemic.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt and sincere gratitude to the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency, Xi Jinping, the Government and people of China for their kind donation of 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
“We applaud China for taking a leading role in contributing to our national vaccine deployment strategy and for its consistent humane policy of treating Covid-19 vaccines as global public goods. This kind gesture is in addition to the numerous donations, support and interventions made by China since the outbreak of the virus. It further attests to the fact that the People’s Republic of China is indeed a true friend of Zimbabwe, whose relations has been enhanced to strategic partnership and cooperation,” said President Mnangagwa recently.
On the other hand, the President said Russia has pledged to donate its Sputnik V vaccine with the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa saying the Eurasian country has, just like China offered to sell its vaccines to Zimbabwe.
“The donation (from China) and initial batch purchases are expected in Zimbabwe by February 15, 2021, and the first week of March, 2021, respectively. The 76 to 86 per cent efficacy of the SINOPHARM vaccine was endorsed by the World Health Organisation,” she said.
“Efforts to procure other Covid-19 vaccines such as the Sputnik V (Victory) from Russia, among others, are underway.
“India, like China, has also offered a donation and an option to purchase commercially and modalities for this offer are still being worked out,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Apart from seeking to get its vaccines from China and Russia, Zimbabwe has submitted its expression of interest to participate under the African Union Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, on which the private sector support companies will keep 50 percent for their employees.
Zimbabwe is planning to vaccinate up to 10 million of the country’s population.