In Zimbabwe, hospitals are quickly filling up with COVID-19 patients indicating an increase in the number of infected people. What’s worrying is that most of the infected people are dying in their homes as they cannot afford the steep fees charged by hospitals for treatment.
Increase in Infections in Zimbabwe
Since the realization of the surge in cases, Authorities in Zimbabwe started scrambling to try and figure out whether the new infections involved the new variant. The new coronavirus variant has so far been observed in South Africa and has circulated broadly across the country. Authorities reported that they had to act fast as they feared that the variant had entered the country. They believed most of those returning to Zimbabwe from South Africa for the December holiday might have brought the variant with them.
As the assessment continues to figure out whether the variant in South Africa causes the surge, Zimbabwe struggles to contain the accelerating spread. Infections have doubled in just the past few weeks in the southern African nation. Furthermore, the country has lost three government ministers in the last ten-day when the surge occurred.
Russia and China Offer Zimbabwe Assistance
But Zimbabwe’s worries, it seems, are over as Russia and China have come to their rescue. The two countries have offered to supply vaccines to Zimbabwe so it can tackle the increase in COVID-19 infections. Business leaders met for a meeting this week in Zimbabwe to discuss how they would pay for the shots. It was evident to Russia and China that with Zimbabwe’s economic crises, it couldn’t possibly afford the shots.
So far, Zimbabwe has recorded a sum of 31,320 coronavirus cases and 1,005 deaths. The figures revealed that the number of cases are more than half the reported since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s recovery rate fell to 71% from 82% in January when the surge occurred.
The director of epidemiology and disease control in Zimbabwe’s health Ministry Mr. Portia Manangazira, told a parliament committee about Russia and China’s decision. The committee sent their gratitude to the two countries as the Covid-19 vaccines were in great need at the time. Manangazira told the team that the two-nation had near pre-qualified vaccines. Those vaccines would be for sale, and they would offer a small donation of the same.
Zimbabwe Still Expecting Assistance from COVAX
In Harare, President Emmerson struggled to find a solution to the crisis about to hit Zimbabwe. But upon hearing that Russia and China wanted to offer assistance, the President set acting Health Secretary Robert Mudyirandima to announce he wanted to meet with the business leaders who offered to finance vaccines. The Health Minister said the President wanted to personally thank the business leaders for helping out the cash-strapped government.
Zimbabwe hopes to vaccinate some of its citizens with the vaccines from China and Russia while awaiting those from the COVAX initiative. The nation is still in contact with the scheme set to soon deliver shots to poor and lower-income countries. Using the vaccines from COVAX, Harare plans to vaccinate about three million Zimbabweans, or 20% of the population.