By Edward Mukaro
ZIMBABWEANS are gradually warming up to the COVID- 19 jab, as hundreds continue to join the queues at designated vaccination centres across the country.
The COVID- 19 has brought the world to its knees; leaving Governments across the globe are in a rush to safeguard the populace by encouraging vaccination against the pandemic.
When the first batch of vaccines arrived from China, the Government of Zimbabwe earmarked a targeted immunization of 60 percent (%) of the populace, as more and more vaccines continue to be acquired by authorities from different parts of the world, namely China, India and Russia, respectively, among others that are yet to come. Most of these have come as donations to the southern African nation.
According to the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe situation report for day 366 of the lockdown in Zimbabwe, “A total of 1 240 people received their first doses of the vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 69 751.
“A total of 1 231 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 11 859. The death toll still stands at 1 520,” WCoZ said.
Meanwhile, WCoZ implored authorities to consider and take action by creating social safety nets for the majority of women in Zimbabwe and women-led households that are facing the biggest impacts in food security, income loss, and caregiving burdens.
“We emphasise the need for prioritisation of women’s access to social safety nets during COVID- 19.
“We note the announcement regarding the increase for the amount to be distributed to beneficiaries of the Cash Transfers System for vulnerable persons in COVID- 19. The amount has moved upwards from ZWL$300 to ZWL$1.500. In US Dollar terms the increase is from US$3.50 to US$17.80
“We continue to recommend that the government announces the direct distribution of basic commodities and food communities similar to the subsidized mealie-meal distribution program,” said WCoZ.
Furthermore, the women’s body noted the ongoing concern regarding the weak accountability for COVID- 19 funds in Zimbabwe.
“We note with alarm the recent disclosure that Treasury has entered into a debt agreement with the Arab Economic bank for US$10 million to respond to COVID- 19.”
By Edward Mukaro