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Low Covid-19 vaccine uptake- Masvingo goes dark on daily updates

 

Upenyu Chaota

Public
perception on the donated Chinese SinoPharm Covid-19 vaccine remains on the
negative with Masvingo province reportedly recording low numbers of frontline
workers volunteering to be jabbed.

Masvingo
received a total of 22 000 doses of the vaccine enough to vaccinate 11 000
frontline workers.

The province
is now in the second week of the vaccination programme and sources say the
number of people inoculated to date is worrying.

Masvingo
began vaccinating the frontline workers on Monday, February 22 and by February
28, a total of 1 938 had been vaccinated in all the 7 districts.

Sources
within the Covid-19 provincial taskforce told TellZim News that the Provincial
Medical Director (PMD), Dr Amadeus Shamhu, ordered an end to the daily updates
of the vaccination owing to the low turnout.

Dr
Shamhu has not been forthcoming with the media since the outbreak of the
Covid-19 pandemic in the country and has proven difficult to get a hold of on
all related matters.

The
last vaccine roll up updates were released on Day 6, February 27 and no update
has been given to members of the public to date.

Dr
Shamhu could not be drawn into comment as his mobile went unanswered and could
not respond the questions send to him on WhatsApp though he blue ticked the
message.

A Covid-19
provincial taskforce member who spoke to TellZim News on condition of anonymity
said he was surprised that the PMD ordered the point person, who was designated
to collate and tabulate the information from districts and distribute it to the
public, to stop sharing the data.

The
taskforce member said that a lot needs to be done to educate people about the
vaccine saying the statistics of the vaccine uptake was worrying.

“The
statistics of the vaccine rollout programme was shared on daily basis. The PMD
as a member of the provincial Covid-19 taskforce was in charge of that and
there was a person who was designated to do the collating and tabulation of the
data under the supervision of the PMD.

“The
data was presented for only six days and all of a sudden it stopped. This is
because the numbers are very low and publishing the statistics would do more
harm than good.

“I went
to inquire from the point person and he told me that he was ordered to stop
reporting the data on the orders of the PMD.

“I
phoned the PMD and he did not take my calls. I send him WhatsApp messages and
he saw them but he never responded. As a taskforce we agreed that information
should be made public so that decisions will not be made based on speculations.

“The
public is in the dark as to how the vaccination roll out programme is going and
how many people have been vaccinated to date,” said the taskforce member.

The
last provincial update which was given on Day 6 on February 27 shows that a cumulative
total of 1 938 frontline workers had been vaccinated with Bikita recording 278,
Chiredzi 488, Chivi 216, Gutu 202, Masvingo 663, Mwenezi 126 and Zaka 68.

As of
Day 6, Zaka district had the lowest numbers of vaccinations standing at 68
while on February 27, only 4 people were vaccinated by the four groups of teams
dispatched to cover the whole district.

Minister
of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, who chairs the provincial
Covid-19 taskforce, was vaccinated on Day 4 of the vaccination rollout
programme and called on all frontline workers to embrace the first phase which
has been exclusively designated to them.

Deputy
minister of Defense and War Veterans Affairs and Zanu PF
national political commissar Victor Matemadanda was also vaccinated in Masvingo
district on Day 4.

Many
Zimbabweans say that the government has not provided enough information on the
SinoPharm vaccine.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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