FILE PHOTO: A nurse prepares a dose of the Sinopharm coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Wilkins Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe is aiming to vaccinate 1 million people against COVID-19 in the next two weeks, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday as he extended tough lockdown measures by another 14 days.
Faced with rising infections and deaths, Mnangagwa on June 29 introduced tough lockdown measures that included a dusk to dawn curfew and curbs on inter-city travel.
Mnangagwa said infections were rising at “an alarming rate” as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads locally. He said the government would inoculate 1 million people during the extended lockdown period.
The southern African nation has to date recorded 70,426 infections, a quarter of them in the past two weeks and 2,236 deaths, official data showed. More than 900,000 Zimbabweans have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Latest genomic sequencing results received last week indicate that approximately 80% of the fresh cases in Zimbabwe are now due to the Delta variant,” Mnangagwa said in a televised address.
Zimbabwe received its single biggest shipment of 2 million COVID-19 doses last week that it hopes will boost its vaccine drive. It expects another 3.5 million shots by the end of July.
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