Harare – Zimbabwe is emerging stronger in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to support from local partners and friendly countries such as China, Russia and India, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Sunday.
In an address to the nation to mark the country’s 41st Independence anniversary, President Mnangagwa also paid tribute to frontline and security workers for their dedication to duty, and the citizens for their steadfast adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
“The dedication and sacrifice of frontline workers and security services are equally applauded. I congratulate you, our citizens for abiding by the national lockdown regulations and measures. The accomplishments we have made to date are due to the unity of purpose and spirit of oneness we have all shown,” President Mnangagwa said.
Recalling that the nation had lost many of its citizens, including decorated heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle against the pandemic, President Mnangagwa observed that Zimbabwe continued to learn lessons from the global health emergency, and pointed out that Zimbabwe is emerging stronger in the fight against the pandemic.
He said Zimbabwe was grateful for the financial and material support and solidarity from friendly nations and development partners in its efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to thank various partners and friends of Zimbabwe including the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation and the Republic of India, for their support to our vaccination program,” President Mnangagwa said.
He also thanked the local private sector, individuals, institutions of higher learning, churches and other stakeholders for their support. He assured citizens that the vaccines being administered by the government were safe, and urged eligible citizens to get vaccinated.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.
Zimbabwe, which launched its vaccination campaign on February 18, has so far received two batches of China’s Sinopharm vaccines and two batches of Sinovac vaccine.
In addition, India has donated 75,000 doses of Covaxin vaccine to Zimbabwe, and the country has since received the first consignment of 35,000 doses.
As it steps up the vaccination campaign, Zimbabwe has so far authorized the use of four COVID-19 vaccines, including China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, Russia’s Sputnik V and Covaxin from India.
The country is targeting to inoculate at least 10 million of its 16 million citizens to achieve herd immunity.
To date, a total of 276,095 people have received their first jab and 35,806 their second jab.
Mnangagwa delivered his independence speech at State House, broadcast live on state television and other online media platforms. – Xinhua