Zimbabwe Keen To Learn From China On Containing Imported Covid-19 cases

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ZIMBABWE is keen to learn from China’s experiences in the fight against Covid-19, particularly on how to contain imported cases, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said Wednesday.

His comments came in the wake of a sharp rise in the number of imported Covid-19 cases in the country in recent weeks, driven mainly by residents returning from the Diaspora.

“We would want information sharing between China and Zimbabwe and China and the rest of Africa, particularly on how we can control infections emanating from returnees or transiting passengers,” Moyo said.

The minister was speaking to Chinese media soon after Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa participated in the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against Covid-19 through video link Wednesday.

Moyo said Zimbabwe was facing a huge challenge in containing the pandemic, particularly imported cases, due to a weak public health system and inadequate resources.

Zimbabwe has witnessed a sharp rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, from 149 at the end of May to over 400 as of June 18, the majority of which were imported cases.

“Zimbabwe as a nation under sanctions has had its primary health care facilities not up to speed in order to host challenges which are originating from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Secondly, Zimbabwe also faces challenges of the test kits, and all the facilities and technology which is required for handling of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the minister said.

He said due to shortage of tests kits, Zimbabwe has had to focus more on testing returning residents, at the expense of the rest of the local population.

“We are still to test internal infections which are taking place, and this is the limitation which we have been experiencing.”

The minister, however, said China’s material and technical support so far has helped the country to alleviate some of the challenges it is facing in containing the pandemic.

He hailed the online China-Africa Summit on COVID-19, saying it demonstrated stronger solidarity between China and Africa.

“We believe that FOCAC is a platform which is going to continue and achieve greater heights in its cooperation between Africa and China.

“And the resolutions which have been made are a clear road map of the best way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.