South Africa rescues Zimbabwe in Covid-19 crisis

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South Africa through the Development Bank of South Africa yesterday donated protective equipment and PCR test kits to Zimbabwe.

President Mnangagwa yesterday received at State House a range of personal protective equipment and testing kits from the bank.

“Be assured that these will be put to good use. We have developed a system of transparency and accountability where every single donation must be recorded and disbursement of such equipment must also be recorded and published so that everybody knows that everything that comes is put to excellent use. So my brothers and sisters from DBSA I want you to carry a message of gratitude,” said President Mnangagwa.

He commended South Africa through President Cyril Ramaphosa for the good gesture, saying despite Pretoria being the epicentre of the Southern African pandemic, it was kind enough to donate to a neighbour.

“We feel extremely happy that our brothers across Limpopo, despite severe attacks in your country found it befitting to assist us to mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” said President Mnangagwa.

“This pandemic knows no boundary, race or level of economic development; it is devastating across countries. We in Zimbabwe have a fragile economy and health system, so our capacity to fight the pandemic is inhibited by that,” he said.

He said the country declared a lockdown despite its fragile economy in order to save lives.

“Currently there has been a spike or surge in confirmed cases and one of the constraints we had is the PCR kits, with this donation of the kits we feel that you have done exceedingly well to help us have more people tested,” said President Mnangagwa.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube thanked DBSA and South Africa.

“Distribution of the goods will be prioritised towards frontline workers in sectors such as health facilities, immigration, customs, law enforcement as well as quarantine centres. The distribution will be coordinated through the National Pharmaceutical Company, a Government agency,” said Prof Ncube.
He said DBSA mobilised resources for Southern African countries as it had been the front runner in the fight against Covid-19.

“The bank has assured Zimbabwe that the country will not be left out. In early May 2020, the bank informed me of its good intention to avail support which offer I readily accepted,” he said.

Some of the items donated were 6 000 PCR test kits, 100 000 surgical masks, 18 000 face shields, 200 000 pairs of examination gloves, 50 000 surgical gowns, 4 000 medical suites and 11 000 goggles.

South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete said Covid-19 had become a global pandemic adding that it was therefore important that Pretoria and Harare took measures to protect themselves.

“This has left many countries reeling from the magnitude of this devastation and it is important that we protect ourselves against this pandemic. South Africa is the epicentre of the disease in this continent and is employing all resources available to stem the disease and preserve life,” said Ambassador Mbete.- Herald

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