Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe yesterday took delivery of a consignment of one million Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines donated by the People’s Republic of China, in a show of continued excellent relations that exist between the two countries.
China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun handed over the vaccines to Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
The latest consignment takes the donations to two million vaccines, adding significantly to the country’s reserves from purchase orders mainly from China.
China has come in a strong way in supporting Zimbabwe’s vaccination drive, through donations and facilitating several purchase orders.
“The donation is also cementing the excellent comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sisterly countries,” said VP Chiwenga.
He added that the support also “demonstrates the People’s Republic of China’s commitment to uphold the tradition of always standing together and jointly building a relationship, with a shared future”.
“May I underscore that the Republic of Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China enjoy excellent relations, characterised by the comprehensive strategic cooperation in many sectors, including agriculture, health, education, mining and diverse commercial engagements, seeking to grow our economies for mutual benefit.
“The commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation, as exemplified by the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China, speaks volumes about our medium to long-term collaborative efforts, anchored on the solid foundation cemented by our history.”
VP Chiwenga said the generous and timely donation comes after the pronouncement by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during the last Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal that there was need to put people’s lives first.
“Indeed, Zimbabwe is grateful that it is among the first countries to receive Covid-19 vaccine donations from the People’s Republic of China under this new initiative,” said VP Chiwenga.
Zimbabwe has started vaccinating everyone above 16 years and is working on scientific evidence to take the eligible age group further down.
“This timely gesture of support and friendship greatly increases our confidence and determination to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and its emerging variants, such as Omicron.
“The support includes secondment of medical doctors, numerous donations of vaccines and the actual facilitation of several purchases of the much-needed Sinopharm and Sinovac doses, to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” said VP Chiwenga.
China has noted that Zimbabwe has defied odds to mount a thorough and effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Guo said under the strong leadership of President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe had successfully repelled three waves of the pandemic; with its economy and society standing in good shape.
“A few days ago, Zimbabwe reported the presence of the new variant and a spike in infections. Swift public health measures have again been put in place.
“We are fully confident the Government and people of Zimbabwe will prevail against the latest challenge,” said Ambassador Guo.
He said they were committed to a fair collaboration with African countries, “as President Xi Jinping notes, the everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship features sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness”.