Concern over Africa’s rising Covid-19 cases

Concern over Africa’s rising Covid-19 cases

President Mnangagwa yesterday expressed concern over the surge in Covid-19 infections in Africa which has recorded over 210 000 confirmed cases and 5 000 deaths, emphasising the urgency needed in accessing test kits, and securing medical supplies and equipment to meet the targeted 10 million tests.

He was participating in the virtual meeting of the African Union (AU) Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and Chairpersons of AU Regional Economic Communities, chaired by AU chairperson, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Mnangagwa said Covid-19 continued to impact negatively on Africa’s socio-economic landscape.

“Mr Chairman, I wish to express concern over the increased rate of infections on the continent. In that connection, I would like to emphasise the need to expedite the process of accessing diagnostic kits required to meet the target of 10 million tests in the following few months,” said President Mnangagwa.

“As a result there is urgent need to secure critical medical supplies and equipment, including personal protection equipment, sanitisers and ventilators.”

Reiterating the need to confront Covid-19 as a united front, the President lauded special envoys who had mobilised resources required to secure critical medical supplies, equipment such as personal protection equipment, sanitisers and ventilators to assist the continent in fighting the pestilence and alleviate its impact.

Zimbabwe with 332 active cases, and four deaths, President Mnangagwa said, has executed a raft of swift measures despite limited financial ability to keep the Covid-19 at bay, which has minimised local transmissions.

“The increase in Covid-19 cases witnessed in the past few weeks have been attributed to Zimbabwean citizens returning home from abroad.

“In that regard we have been working around the clock to adequately equip quarantine centres and health facilities at our borders, and in all provinces up to district level,” said the President.

Cumulatively, the President revealed, the country has done more than 53 000 tests, and is on level two lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, while at the same time allowing the economy breathing space.

Assuring his colleagues in the African Union that the Government of Zimbabwe “will continue to monitor the situation taking into consideration the World Health Organisation, and the African CDC guidelines” and “benchmarking from the experiences of the region and the continent”, President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to development partners for their resolute support.

“I must at this juncture acknowledge with deep gratitude the positive responses from international corporate partners, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, international and private individuals whose support played an enormous role in complementing Government’s efforts to mitigate the threat caused by the coronavirus. Their contributions to assist in ameliorating the situation have been commendable,” he said.