In a bid to reduce the spread of COVID 19, which has brought the economy and tourism activities to a halt, Victoria Falls residents turned out in numbers to get inoculated, with an estimated 75% of the qualifying population receiving the jab during the inception of the second phase of the vaccination programme in Zimbabwe.
The President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency E.D. Mnangagwa, received his first Covid-19 shot in the resort City, marking the beginning of the second phase programme, which has opened the doors for vaccinations for the entire population.
The programme comes after the Government has stepped up efforts to procure vaccines to reinforce the fight against the deadly virus, which has claimed thousands of lives in Zimbabwe.
District Medical Officer, Dr Fungai Musimani-Mvula, praised the community of Victoria Falls for taking heed of the Government’s call to embrace vaccination.
“The programme has gone very well with a positive response from the community with about 17 000 people inoculated in the first two weeks after inception.
“I want to commend the people of Victoria Falls for taking responsibility for protecting themselves and their community from the virus,” said Dr Musimani.
Vaccinations provide a glimmer of hope for the tourism industry, which stands to benefit as this will lead to the gradual opening of ports of entry, thereby leading to the resuscitation of tourism activities in Victoria Falls after achieving herd immunity.
Victoria Falls Mayor Somveli Dhamini applauded the Governments’ effort in giving first preference to Victoria Falls as the first landing port of tourists into Zimbabwe.
“As an international tourist destination, we gladly receive this program as it seeks to address that which had brought economic activities to a standstill globally,” he said.
The Vice President of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe, Farai Chimba, is optimistic that vaccinations will lead to brighter days in the industry and boost visitor confidence in visiting the destination.
“The inoculation program for Victoria Falls City is the first single most significant stroke towards the recovery of tourism, and we applaud residents for embracing the program.
“Achieving a head immunity is key in providing a safe destination for both visitors and residents, with Government playing an active role in our steps to recovery,” he added.
Victoria Falls remains the epicentre of tourism in the region. Its sudden bounce-back will mean a swift turnaround for both the City’s and the nation’s economic fortunes.