Matabeleland North Correspondent
HEALTH Ministry authorities in Matabeleland North are literally begging residents to vaccinate against Covid-19, saying people should get inspiration from Victoria Falls residents who are at low risk of the Covid-19 virus following massive vaccination in the tourism city.
The province has received 65 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and authorities said they would be targeting hotspot districts of Hwange, Umguza, Lupane, Binga, and Nkayi where new cases of the Delta variant have spiked.
Ministry of Health officials told NewZimbabwe.com that statistics show people who are vaccinated, even if they can also get the virus, are at less risk of getting serious symptoms or being hospitalised compared to those who are not vaccinated against the virus.
“We have received the vaccines and we have started distributing to districts, starting with the hotspot areas. The vaccines have come
when we need them most and we need to make sure we vaccinate as many people as possible because those who have been jabbed are at less risk,” said Matabeleland North provincial medical director Munekayi Padingani.
Hwange town is the worst hit with over 200 active cases while Victoria Falls has less than 100.
The government rolled out a mass vaccination programme in the resort city of Victoria Falls in March, and the tourism city has reached herd immunity after more than 20 000 were inoculated.
Senior government authorities said vaccinated people are at less risk of infection as the majority of new cases were people not vaccinated.
In other districts, only frontline workers and civil servants were vaccinated.
“We are planning a massive vaccination exercise especially in Hwange town which has recorded the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in the province. We want to dedicate what we have received to hotspot areas and we will target Hwange town,” said Hwange district medical officer Fungai Mvura.
“We encourage people to come and vaccinate because statistics show that those that have vaccinated are at low risk compared to those that haven’t. That is why we have more cases in Hwange than in Victoria Falls.”
Tourism operators and hoteliers have also encouraged people to get vaccinated to ensure safety in the destination and enhance the revival of the hospitality industry.
Victoria Falls’ economy is wholly inclined on tourism which has been hard-hit due to travel restrictions imposed worldwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic leaving the sector with no clients and business.
Thousands of workers have as a result lost their jobs.