Zimbabwe receives Covid-19 boost

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THE South Korean embassy in Zimbabwe, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indian embassy yesterday donated coronavirus (Covid-19) medical supplies and consumables worth a combined US$650 000, the Daily News reports.

This comes as a major boost to the country’s fight against the deadly pandemic. Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 cases reached 8 159, with 7 683 recoveries and 232 deaths as of Monday.

Speaking during the handover ceremony at State House in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country did not have adequate resources to fight Covid-19.

“I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the donations you have extended to Zimbabwe.

“His Excellency, the ambassador for Korea, I’m aware that this is not your first time to make a donation to Zimbabwe both in relation to the fight against Covid-19 and also in other areas.

“You have shown compassion, brotherhood and relations between our two countries,” Mnangagwa said.

“I am aware that the Republic of Korea suffered the impact of Covid-19 at the beginning, but your government rose to the challenge and within a short period you were able to bring down the transmission of Covid-19.

“Despite that challenge, you have been able to think about Zimbabwe as a developing economy.

“We do not have the capacities which many countries have in terms of health infrastructure to fight the pandemic. We are lucky that our friends have come forward and assisted us to mitigate the impact of Covid-19,” Mnangagwa added.

Mnangagwa said India’s donation would also go a long way in boosting the country’s health system.

Korea’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Do Bong-Kae, said collaboration was key in fighting the lethal Covid-19.

“In this regard the government of the Republic of Korea is pleased to provide Zimbabwe with Covid-19 test kits valued at

US$300 000 to help strengthen Zimbabwe’s national response for the pandemic through a partnership with the WHO.

“Korea has also donated 100 000 disposable face masks last month,” the ambassador said.

“I would like to note that Zimbabwe has kept coronavirus infections relatively low compared with other nations in the region. I would like to acknowledge the work of the government’s Covid-19 taskforce.”

India’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Masakui Rangsung, said in addition to its consignment of medicines valued at US$350 000, the embassy had donated 1 000 tonnes of rice for the vulnerable.

“I would also like to update on the progress of 10 ambulances for donation to the government of Zimbabwe.

“They are in the process of being assembled. Due to shutdowns and disruptions of service on account of the pandemic, it got a bit delayed. Hopefully, by the second week of November, the units will start arriving in Zimbabwe.

“To support the industry of Zimbabwe, India has also donated machinery at the Indo-Zim Technology Centre. The US$2,9 million machines are already in Zimbabwe awaiting technical experts from India to commission them.

“These machines have been instrumental in supporting downstream small industries, thereby creating hundreds of jobs in the first phase where machines worth US$5 million were commissioned,” Rangsung said.

Meanwhile, speaking on the sidelines of the medical supplies handover ceremony, WHO Zimbabwe country representative Alex Gassasira said while the country’s new Covid-19 cases had significantly reduced, it was important for citizens to continue adhering to mitigation measures to avoid a resurgence of infections.

“If we are complacent and do not comply with prevention measures, we will experience a resurgence. We have been seeing this in other countries.

“So, yes we have been at this for several months, people might be tired, but every life we can save by following preventive measures is an important life.

“Let us continue to comply with preventive measures until we have a vaccine. It is only when we have a vaccine that we can relax,” he said.

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