Zimbabwe: Health and Child Care Parly Committee Resumes Meetings

25 January 2021

Senior Reporter

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care has resumed meetings, using online platforms, and today will be briefed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Dr Jasper Chimedza on the latest developments concerning Covid-19.

The country is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic following the outbreak last year.

As of Saturday, the country had recorded 31 007 and 934 deaths with 21 377 recoveries.

Government resorted to the stricter level four lockdown at the beginning of this month to help curb the new outbreak, effectively closing most of the retail sector and limiting movements and extending the curfew back to between 6pm and 6am.

Government is undertaking preparations for the roll-out of a vaccination programme expected to start within the next two months.

In an address to the nation on Saturday, President Mnangagwa reassured Zimbabweans that the country would overcome the difficulties that have been brought by the second wave of the pandemic.

He said plans for the roll-out of the vaccination programme would be finalised soon, adding that Government would ensure resources were availed to fight the pandemic.

"The pandemic we thought was beginning to ease, has come back with vengeance," the President said.

"It has picked new strains which spread faster, are more aggressive, and about which more is yet to be known.

"The situation is very worrisome, and threatens to become dire. There is hope, however."

The President said the slowly increasing recovery rate of Covid-19 patients was a source of hope, showing that at the moment more people were getting better each day than were falling sick.

"Our recovery rates are once more beginning to creep up," he said. "While we are facing increasing number of cases requiring hospitalisation and close professional care, there is scope for increasing our capacities to respond in order to cope with the likely upsurge."

President Mnangagwa warned of more restrictions and deployment of additional law enforcement officers to clampdown on lockdown violations, if some Zimbabweans continued to ignore safety and preventative regulations introduced by the Government.

"On the ground, the lockdown is holding, with more and more Zimbabweans voluntarily taking measures that are necessary to protect themselves, their families, their friends and their fellow countrymen and countrywomen," he said.

"Our law enforcement agencies are active, manning all key points. We are ready with more deployments, and ready to prescribe stronger measures, should that become necessary. The Government has and is engaging countries which have developed vaccines. Help and relief are on the way.

"Our experts, who have been assessing different vaccines, are very close to finalising the course to recommend to our nation. A course which brings in relief, and which we will roll out across the length and breadth of our nation, so we do not lose more lives than has become inevitable."

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