Covid-19: Experts Say Zim Return To Normalcy In 2024

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By Leopold Munhende

ZIMBABWE and other developing countries with little or no capacity to buy Covid-19 vaccines might only return to pre-coronavirus normalcy at the end of 2024, experts from the Economists Intelligence Unit (EIU) have said.

A projected timeline for return to normalcy based on vaccine rollouts indicates developing countries, mostly found in Africa, covered by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX facility will only achieve normalcy in 2024, almost two years after the rest of the world has.

Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are expected to lead the return with Europe, the UK and America projected to have returned back to normal by January 2022.

The three are all expected to have vaccinated the entirety of their populations by September this year.

COVAX is a platform launched by WHO, the European Union (EU) and France, bringing together governments, health organisations, scientists, civil society, philanthropists and the private sector with the aim to provide equitable access to Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

It was formed to ensure everyone gets a vaccine regardless of financial capacity.

Zimbabwe is still making plans for a vaccine rollout and is yet to decide which one it will procure, according to presidential spokesperson George Charamba.

Government has also remained tight-lipped on how the process of vaccination will be handled in case of vaccine availability.

Other high-income countries and members of the OECD such as Turkey will follow closely behind Europe, America and the UK and are expected to have returned to normalcy by June 2022.

Middle income countries such as India, Brazil, China and Russia are also expected to have returned to normal by June 2022 after projected vaccination of their populations by September 2021.

South Africa and other countries of similar economic stability that fall under countries not eligible for COVAX are projected to have vaccinated their populations by January 2022 with a return to normalcy expected to be in October 2022.

The virus has locked down most countries in the world, almost stopped trade between states and introduced a new normal of less physical interaction, wearing of face masks and hand sanitisers.

In just over a year, it has already killed some two million people across the globe with Zimbabwe accounting for 825 of the deaths.

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