ZIMBABWE has received its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines from China this Monday morning.
The 200 000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine was received at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by the Vice President who is also the Minister of Health and Child and Child Care, Dr Constantino Chiwenga and the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun.
Also present was the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Professor Amon Murwira and other government officials.
The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines brings hope to Zimbabweans and frontline workers will be the first to be vaccinated as the government targets to inoculate 60 percent of the country’s population.
The Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine has an efficacy of up to 86 percent and is being used by other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, UAE, Morocco and Egypt.
In his handover remarks, the Chinese Ambaassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Guo Shaochun said China and Zimbabwe has a long standing relationship and they found it fit to assist Zimbabwe in its time of need.
“I am very pleased that Zimbabwe is one of the first countries to receive this vaccine from China, that is because China and Zimbabwe, between our two countries we enjoy strategic cooperation and profound friendship,” he said.
The Ambassador said though back home they are still battling to vaccinate their own population of over 1.4 billion people, they still considered it important to assist Zimbabwe. Ambassador Shaochun pledged to ensure the vaccine will remain accessible and affordable to especially developing countries as the world fights the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vice President Chiwenga expressed his gratitude to China for the timely gesture saying the arrival of the vaccines brings hope to the nation. “ The Vaccine brings hope to the nation that we may be on the verge of returning to some semblance of normalcy, we had to implement the lockdown so that the virus does not spread and by doing so we spared the lives of our people,” he said.
He thanked China for its swift response adding that this is another demonstration of the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries. Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube revealed that the country’s target is to get 1.8 million doses of vaccines from China and the second batch of 600 000 doses is expected next month. “Our strategy is saving lives first and the vaccine constitute the silver bullet,” he said.