Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa says local health experts are assessing Covid-19 vaccines and will recommend “the way forward”.
He said his Government is collaborating with different countries and expects to roll out “a safe and effective” vaccine “soon”.
In a national address in the capital, Harare, on Saturday, the Zimbabwe leader said frontline workers will be the first to be inoculated.
He said this as the number of cases reached 30 523, including 21 080 recoveries and 962 deaths.
Transport Minister Joel Biggie Matiza died of the disease on Friday night, becoming the third Government Minister to succumb inside a week. Others are ministers Sibusiso Moyo (Foreign Affairs) and Ellen Gwaradzimba (Manicaland Provincial Affairs). Former Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere, ex-Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner-General Paradzayi Zimondi and Zanu-PF politician and businessman Christopher Chigumba also died of Covid-19 on Friday.
The President said “help is on its way”, referring to the vaccine.
“Health workers will receive the vaccine first, once it arrives.
“We will spare no effort, spare no resource to save the lives of Zimbabweans. We will spare no resource to save our frontline workers, who have been the heroes in the pandemic.”
President Mnangagwa added: “The Covid-19 situation in the country is worrisome and threatens to become dire, but there’s hope in rising recovery rates.”
The recovery rate has gone up to 69 percent in the past few days, after having plummeted to 50 percent in the past two weeks.
On the current Level 4 lockdown, he said, “The security forces are ready to tighten the lockdown if need be.”