Covid-19 containment measures are not an attempt by the Government to curtail the rights of its citizens, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava has said.
He was speaking during the first resumed virtual briefing by members of the national Covid-19 taskforce to members of the diplomatic corps and international partners accredited here.
Zimbabwe has received rave reviews for its Covid-19 response and special praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the way it has confronted the global pandemic.
The plaudits have come from China, South Africa, as well as Australia.
“We are resuming our monthly briefings in order to keep each other updated on the Covid-19 and humanitarian situation in the country,” said Minister Shava.
“The country is currently witnessing an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases and related deaths which prompted the President to declare Level-4 lockdown restrictions on 29 June 2021 for a period of two weeks and a further extension by another two weeks on 13 July 2021.
“These restrictions, which include limiting the numbers of people attending funerals, revised working and business hours, and an extended curfew period, among other measures are aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus in order to preserve lives.
“It is important that these measures be understood in that context and should not be viewed as attempts by Government to curtail the rights of its citizens,” said Minister Shava.
On vaccination rollout, he said the Government was determined to inoculate at least 60 percent of Zimbabwe’s population in order to achieve herd immunity.
Minister Shava assured that the process of procuring more vaccines is continuing in order to sustain a robust vaccine rollout programme in view of the current spike.
“In the light of the steady progress achieved thus far, we call upon our partners to continue supporting these national efforts and ensure that all these gains that the country has made to date are not reversed.”
“Allow me to caution that while the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic rage on, we still have to deal with residual humanitarian needs emanating from the disastrous effects of Cyclone Idai and the drought situation of previous years, in spite of the very good 2020-2021 agricultural season.
“We therefore count on your continued support viz-à-vis Zimbabwe’s overall domestic and international humanitarian appeal.
“Let me assure you, Excellencies, that Government remains true to its commitment to transparency at all levels in the handling and distribution of all donations received,” said Minister Shava.
He said the Government was grateful for the continued support rendered by all our cooperating partners, the private sector, individual citizens and the Diaspora, most of whom were represented in yesterday’s briefing.
“The invaluable support has included a wide array of goods and services from Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to medical equipment, supplies and consumables, Covid-19 vaccines, service vehicles in the form of ambulances, ICT equipment and related consumables, capacity building initiatives, infrastructure rehabilitation, clothing, food, medicines, psycho-social support and funding.”
Minister Shava said the assistance has complemented Government programmes and initiatives to fight the pandemic.
“The pandemic continues to claim many lives, destroy livelihoods and disrupt economies worldwide.
“With your support and collaboration, Zimbabwe has registered some successes that we are witnessing in its Covid-19 response,” said Minister Shava.