Zanzibar in mass vaccination drive

24Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Zanzibar in mass vaccination drive
  • *China hands over 100,000 doses

ZANZIBAR has officially launched mass vaccination with the Chinese made Sinovac jab with Health, Community Development, Gender and Children minister Nassor Ahmed Mazrui becoming the first public official to be inoculated.

The mass rollout comes in the wake of an earlier effort with an unspecified vaccine delivery which prioritized health workers and at a slightly earlier period, inoculating those wishing to make the annual pilgrimage to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, with all these efforts being carried out with the Sinovac vaccine.

Presiding over the launch here on Thursday at the Lumumba Covid-19 testing and treatment centre, the minister sought build people’s confidence in the jab, saying it is safe, approved by the World Health Organization and endorsed by the government of Zanzibar.

Another vaccine consignment is expected to be delivered after two weeks, with the Zanzibar government expecting to receive a total of 100,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as assistance from the Chinese authorities.

Zanzibar Second Vice President Hemed Suleiman Abdullah made this affirmation when receiving documents for the delivery from the Chinese Consul in Zanzibar Zhang Zhisheng.

The VP said the SINOVAC vaccines arriving in Zanzibar shortly will be handed over to the Health ministry to proceed with inoculation arrangements for priority workers and others who shall seek to be vaccinated.

Consul Zhang said China was all set to assist Zanzibar against the pandemic as the vaccine is WHO approved, meanwhile as China is ready to continue the good relations existing with Zanzibar by investing in the industrial sector to spur economic growth.

The vaccination effort is expected to boost tourism arrivals which have been rising since June, rising to 20,416, as compared to 9,280 in March.

Abdulrauf Ramadhani Abeid, the head of government statistics here said here yesterdsay that France was leading in Europe for arrivals of tourists in Zanzibar.

He said a total of 11,588 European visitors entered the Isles in June, where France led by sending in 2,232 tourists, followed by Poland with 2,101 tourists.

Visitors who came to Zanzibar by sea through the port of Malindi numbered 5,152 and those who came by air were 15,264, around three quarters of the total.

The quasi totality of the visitors came for vacation while a few came to visit their relatives and an even smaller number came for business, the statistician noted.

Dr Estella Ngoma, a lecturer at State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) said the big number of French tourists was due to France easing travel restrictions for those wishing to travel abroad, in the wake of an

ongoing vaccination campaign all over the European Union.

Dr Abdulla Mohammed Juma, executive secretary for the Zanzibar Tourist Commission said the commission has shifted its strategy in regard to the tourism market, as in the past the Isles relied from tourists coming from Europe.

The shift in strategy was were bearing fruit as visitations from other continents was on a rising trend, he added.

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