Govt ropes in OPC in Covid-19 fight

AS the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the country amid escalating fatalities, the government has roped in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to help in the national vaccination exercise as it seeks to ramp up the inoculation programme.

This comes amid fears that a fourth wave of the virulent respiratory diseases could hit Zimbabwe despite the declining number of infections in the last few months.

Health deputy minister John Mangwiro told the Daily News yesterday that all security forces were now on the ground helping health officials in various capacities. 

“What is happening is that all security forces are now part of the vaccination programme. The Central Intelligence Organisation is also there to provide transport for nurses to be able to reach vaccination centres around the country. 

“They do not necessarily do the vaccination themselves if they are not healthcare workers. They ferry nurses from Chivhu Hospital, for example, to various parts of the district where they will be providing vaccination services. We are working flat out — as the government — to ensure that by the end of the year we have achieved herd immunity,” Mangwiro said.

Mangwiro also implored Zimbabweans not to be complacent and continue to follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) Covid-19 prevention guidelines.

“Some want to use traditional methods such as steaming, but those could be dangerous because chances are that people can get burnt. The government and WHO have put in place measures such as putting on masks, sanitising and keeping social distance so we must religiously follow them.

“There are chances that in the next two to three years we will be done with this pandemic according to what has been observed by experts regarding the nature of these viruses. All we must do is to follow guidelines given to us by the WHO to avoid a fourth wave of the disease,” he further said.

All this comes as the government has so far vaccinated nearly two million citizens against a target of 10 million by December, which represents 60 percent of the population in order to reach herd immunity.

It also comes as the government has roped in members of the Zimbabwe National Army and retired nurses to help with the national vaccination programme.

As of Tuesday, Zimbabwe had 117 258 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 3 950 deaths since the first case of the disease was discovered in the country in March last year