By Zimbabwe Voice Reporter
A genomic sequencing for COVID-19 samples collected in Harare has revealed that 98% of the samples were of the Delta variant, Government has advised.
The Cabinet, in minutes announced after its meeting Tuesday evening, made the revelation amid a spike in the cases which have seen July the worst month since the first case was recorded in March 2020.
“The citizenry is informed that the national genomic sequencing survey is in progress and the results will be announced to the public,” said Cabinet while announcing the results for Harare.
The Delta variant, a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, was first identified in India in December. It then swept rapidly through that country and Britain before reaching the U.S., where it is now the dominant variant, as is now the case in most countries.
It is known to spread faster and makes its victims, particularly the unvaccinated, likely to fall seriously ill.
It also emerged that the Ministry of Health and Child Care is expecting 2 500 000 doses of vaccine through direct purchase in August 2021, while a further 3 500 000 doses will be received during the month of September 2021 under the COVAX facility.
In order to accelerate the vaccination programme and achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021 Cabinet has approved the following strategies:
- Extending the vaccination programme to private hospitals and private clinics to complement Government efforts. The vaccines will remain free. The institution may claim for the injection costs based on medical aid tariffs;
- Continued collaboration with the Security Sector to assist in the vaccine roll out;
- Increasing outreach teams for hard-to-reach areas, from an average of two to four teams;
Increased provision of transport and fuel for the outreach teams;
- Reviewing the payment model of allowances for the vaccinators to be based on the number of persons vaccinated;
- Health Services Board has written to Treasury seeking concurrence to recruit retired nurses to participate in the vaccination programme;
- Using non-medical staff such as data capturers to free nurses so that they concentrate on vaccination; and
- The extension of the vaccination programme to clinics in higher and tertiary learning institutions.
In addition, Cabinet thanked the private sector players who are partnering Government in its quest to have the citizens vaccinated.
Agribusiness leader SEED-CO has managed to vaccinate 98% of its employees and has extended the vaccine offer to Government.
As at 2 August, 2021, Zimbabwes cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 110 855, with 79 420 recoveries and 3 635 deaths. The recovery rate stands at 72%, with 98% of COVID-19-positive cases being attributable to local transmission. The number of active cases stands at 27 800. — Zimbabwe Voice □