President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said life in Zimbabwe “can only” return to normality when the majority of Zimbabweans has been vaccinated.
The pandemic has disrupted normal life as members of the public are now expected to wear face masks , practice social distancing and constant temperature checks and washing of hands as means of preventing the spread of Covid-19.
Mnangagwa’s remarks come as businesses and members of the public have been pushing for a return to normality to avoid a total collapse of the economy and to cushion citizens from the bumps of life.
He also spoke of when the country is expected to roll-out its COVID-19 vaccination programme following the donation of vaccines by China and Russia.
The donations are expected to complement Zimbabwe’s efforts to acquire jabs enough to vaccinate the majority of the population to attain herd immunity.
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health notes that when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection or herd immunity (also called herd protection) to those who are not immune to the disease.
Posting on Twitter on Thursday, President Mnangagwa also expressed gratitude to China and Russia for their donations. He said:
Life can only return to normality once the majority of Zimbabweans have been vaccinated. This is the ultimate goal. Thank you to both China and Russia for their donation of COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Zimbabwe. Your generosity during this dark time will not be forgotten.
China donated 200 000 jabs while Russian diamond producer Alrosa PJSC has pledged to buy and donate “dozens of thousands” of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines to Zimbabwe.
The donations come after the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had announced that Zimbabwe had raised about USD100 million for the procurement of the vaccine.
Zimbabwe is currently under a coronavirus-induced lockdown which was re-imposed at the start of the year following a spike in new coronavirus cases and deaths.
Reports suggest that the country’s humanitarian crisis worsened during the lockdown