China to donate 2nd batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe

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China will donate another batch of 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe, Chinese ambassador Guo Shaochun said Wednesday.

This will be China's second donation to Zimbabwe after the Asian country recently donated 200,000 Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to help the southern African country fight the pandemic.

"Just now I had an online meeting with H.E. @edmnangagwa, announcing that China has decided to donate another 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Zimbabwe. Facing this global pandemic, what we need is solidarity and action. China is committed to standing with the Zimbabwean people," the Chinese ambassador said on his Twitter.

The second donation will bring to 400,000 the total number of COVID-19 vaccines that China has donated to Zimbabwe so far.

On its part, the Zimbabwean government has purchased 600,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from China, which are expected to arrive in the country in March.

The country is also in advanced negotiations to acquire the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, while India has announced that it will also donate 75,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Zimbabwe.

Last Thursday, the Zimbabwean government launched its COVID-19 vaccination program, three days after taking delivery of the first batch of 200,000 vaccines from China.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also health and child care minister, became the first citizen to receive the Sinopharm jab.

Frontline workers, including journalists, are being prioritized for inoculation under the first phase of the vaccination program. Vaccination is being done on a voluntary basis and in three phases.

The government aims to inoculate at least 10 million people out of the country's population to achieve herd immunity.

As of Tuesday, Zimbabwe had recorded 35,910 COVID-19 cases, 32,288 recoveries and 1,448 deaths.

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