Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga has warned informal traders that they will not be allowed to conduct business unless they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Chiwenga made these remarks when he received 57 PCR testing machines and 1 000 boxes of COVID-19 traditional Chinese medicines valued at US$1.4 million from a Zimbabwean-based Chinese company, Satewave Technologies. He said:
With the continued rise in COVID-19 cases, we want full cooperation from everyone. Now that the government has procured more vaccines, we want everyone to be vaccinated starting with those border towns and hotspot areas.
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We will also move into marketplaces like Mbare in Harare and eRenkini in Bulawayo. No vaccination, no table. Protect your customers by getting vaccinated.
Chiwenga said the donation has come at an opportune time and the machines will be distributed throughout the country beginning with COVID-19 hotspots. He said:
These machines carry out a Covid-19 PCR test in 45 minutes hence reducing the turnaround time of conventional PCR from 4 to 5 hours. The machines also have the capacity to distinguish the different variants circulating in our societies.
Software Technologies Managing Director Maggie Feng the donation will help Zimbabwe’s health ministry to craft containment strategies. Said, Feng:
Our donation comes at a time when the country is dealing with the 3rd wave of Covid-19 infections as shown by the recent spike in infections being recorded.
The test kits we are donating today will ensure that variants are quickly picked up thereby raising awareness in the population and helping the health ministry to craft containment strategies.
Chibara (18) active cases, Doro(18), Nyangoma (20), Chidamoyo (15), Kazangare (16)(Mash west), Chiredzi (32) (Masvingo Province East), Nkulumane (15) Emakhandeni (29) and Northern Suburbs (31) (Bulawayo), have been classified as hotspots.
The country has in the past faced a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as vaccine hesitancy as a large proportion of the population seemingly, believes conspiracy theories about the jabs that are circulating on social media.