President Mnangagwa yesterday thanked India for a gift of medicines worth US$100 000 to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the assistance demonstrated the cordial relations that exist between the two countries.
At the same time China, another major donor helping Zimbabwe fight Covid-19, is giving another 30 000 test kits.
Writing on his Twitter handle, President Mnangagwa said: “Thank you to our dear friends in India for the delivery of these important Covid-19 related medicines. Your donations touch our hearts and are a true expression of the close friendship between our two nations.”
Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Rangsung Masakui unveiled the medical consignment on Saturday, which comprises antibiotics, which he said were part of the US$2 million package of essential medicines that India has pledged to fight against Covid-19 and other ailments.
“Due to the delay in the resumption of domestic air service and continued non-availability of international air services, there was some difficulty in putting all the consignment together and thus the arrival of all items could not be in time,” said Ambassador Masakui.
“Needless also to say that the balance of medicine worth US$1.6 million for donation to Zimbabwe will be procured after the pandemic situation improves. I would also like to take this opportunity to inform that 10 ambulances for donation to the Government are under procurement.”
The goods were received by the Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro, who said the donation had come at the right time.
The other part of the consignment has since been transported to Bulawayo where there was a typhoid outbreak recently.
“India remains one of our very good friends and the drugs come in handy as some have already been shipped to Bulawayo to control an outbreak there. We will also want to assure you that these medical drugs will be put to good use,” said Dr Mangwiro.
India, which is one of the largest providers of generic drugs globally, has committed to assist Zimbabwe in the fight against Covid-19 through availing US$2 million worth of drugs and 10 ambulances.
The Chinese Embassy in Harare has pledged 30 000 Covid-19 test kits to Zimbabwe, further in the serious support China has given Zimbabwe over the past few months.
Speaking after presenting a US$2 million Post Disaster Restoration Assistance Fund in Harare on Friday, China’s chief Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun, said the test kits would be delivered within 10 days.
He said Beijing was committed to making every effort to keep those major bilateral projects on track because they were important to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.
“We are looking forward to working more closely with the Zimbabwean Government, UNDP and other international partners to bring more benefits to the people of Zimbabwe, and to build an even stronger China-Zimbabwe community with a shared future.”
Ambassador Guo said China had so far donated 21 000 test kits among other Covid-19 materials.
A number of local and foreign companies have been supporting the Government in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.