Zimbabwe recorded 70 more COVID-19 deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to 1,075 under a second wave of the pandemic that has spawned a spike in deaths and infections.
In a statement Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said 326 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the country’s total caseload to 31,646.
A total of 627 people recovered from the virus, bringing the country’s total cases of recovery to 2,287.
Also, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is expected to reach 100 million within this week, said the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus.
“A year ago today, fewer than 1,500 cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, including just 23 cases outside China.
“This week, we expect to reach 100 million reported cases.
“Numbers can make us numb to what they represent: every death is someone’s parent, someone’s partner, someone’s child, someone’s friend,” Tedros said at a WHO news briefing on Monday.
He called for vaccination of health workers and older people to be underway in all countries within the first 100 days of 2021.
He also quoted two latest reports to show that without equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, the world would have to face not only a catastrophic moral failure but also an economic failure.
According to a new report from the International Labour Organisation, which analyses the impact of the pandemic on the global labour market, some 8.8 per cent of global working hours were lost in 2020.
This had resulted in a decline in global labour income equivalent to 3.7 trillion dollars.
The report projects that most countries will recover in the second half of 2021, depending on vaccination rollout, and recommends international support for the vaccine rollout in low- and middle-income countries and to promote economic and employment recovery.
The second report, commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, finds that vaccine nationalism could cost the global economy up to 9.2 trillion dollars, almost half of which, about 4.5 trillion, would be incurred in the wealthiest economies.
In contrast, the financing gap for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a WHO-led initiative, is 26 billion dollars this year, according to Tedros, who added that the ACT Accelerator, if fully funded, would return up to 166 dollars for every dollar invested.
“Vaccine nationalism might serve short-term political goals. But it’s in every nation’s own medium and long-term economic interest to support vaccine equity,” he said.