BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
GOVERNMENT says it will intensify the vaccination programme to effectively fight the pandemic, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa setting a target of one million shots in two weeks to achieve 60% herd immunity.
Government intends to vaccinate 60% or 10 million people in order to achieve herd immunity.
The country on Wednesday received a consignment of 25 000 doses of Sputnik-V, to bring the total donation from Russia to 50 000.
In total, Zimbabwe has taken delivery of 2 282 000 doses of Covaxin, Sinopharm, Sputnik V and COVAX vaccines.
As of Wednesday, 988 746 people had been vaccinated.
Government has since put in place measures to fight the pandemic, including extending the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown, but new cases continue to soar.
Medical experts warned that given the complacency of the public in adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols, the country is still far from reaching its peak of new infections and deaths.
Mnangagwa on Tuesday pleaded with citizens to be vaccinated to combat the spread of the vicious Delta variant of the respiratory disease, which he said now accounted for 80% of daily infections.
Zimbabwe recorded 3 110 new cases and 58 deaths on Wednesday, with an increased positivity rate of 24,7%. The country had 24 966 active cases on the same day.
The recovery rate was 64%, down from 77% recorded at the beginning of the month.
Situational reports from the Health ministry showed that there were 883 hospitalised people, 40 of them on life support on Wednesday.
“Zimbabwe is now vaccinating people at a rate of 40 000 doses per day,” Mnangagwa said on his Twitter.
“We must not rest. Zimbabweans, get the jab to keep our country safe and help our economy bounce back.”
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa said complacency in following the World Health Organisation COVID-19 protocols resulted in more people getting infected each day.
“The trouble is far from being over,” Marisa said.
“Citizens are exposing themselves to the deadly virus when we have not yet even reached half of our 60% target of herd immunity. If this continues, we could be recording 10 000 cases each day in the next two weeks.”
“Testing positive of the virus when one has already taken his COVID-19 jabs must not discourage other citizens from getting vaccinated,” Marisa said.
“Vaccination does not stop people from contracting the virus. That is why we encourage even people who got their jabs to adhere to all the preventative measures.
“Vaccination boosts one’s immune system in fighting the dangerous virus. With the vaccine, one is less likely to have severe sickness. One will also have lower chances of being hospitalised. Therefore, it is not a problem for a vaccinated person to get infected. It should be a relief that they are at a lower risk than people who have not yet been vaccinated.”