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Zimbabwe receives 25 000 Russian vaccine doses



ZIMBABWE on Wednesday received 25 000 doses of Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine sourced by diamond miner Alrosa (Zimbabwe) Limited.

The vaccines are meant to support the country’s efforts in inoculating at least 60% of the population. Sputnik V is one of the four vaccines registered for emergency use in Zimbabwe, including Sinovac and Sinopharm from China and Covaxin from India.

Alrosa Zim is a joint venture company between Alrosa and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). The second delivery of another 25 000 doses will arrive in Zimbabwe within a month.

Sputnik V is a Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine developed by the N.F. Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology with support from the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

It was registered by the Russian Ministry of Health in August 2020 and was named “Sputnik V” after the first Soviet space satellite that opened a new era in global space research.

Each vaccine kit consists of two doses.

Alrosa deputy CE Vladimir Marchenko said the joint venture, which has been carrying out prospecting and early exploration works in Zimbabwe since 2020, is committed to supporting this country in challenging times.

“A member of Responsible Jewellery Council, World Diamond Council and Natural Diamond Council, ALROSA is committed to the highest standards of social responsibility and complies with the most strict international industry standards. Supporting local communities in the regions where we operate is one of our top priorities. Year by year we support various social, environmental, and charitable programmes in the regions where we operate. In these challenging times, ALROSA Zim is donating Covid-19 vaccine kits to the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

According to the shareholder agreement and a joint venture establishment agreement, Alrosa controls 70% of Alrosa Zim, while the Zimbabwean state-owned diamond mining company’s share is 30%.

The joint venture focuses on prospecting, exploration and, in case of success, mining of primary diamond deposits in Zimbabwe.

Alrosa Zim activities are concentrated in four provinces of Zimbabwe, namely Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Manicaland and Masvingo.

In 2021, Alrosa Zim established its second field camp at the Maitengwe area, extended its aeromagnetic survey at Maitengwe area and started bulk sampling at Malipati area. An extensive drilling programme is set to start in the third quarter of 2021.

Its budget for the current initial phase of greenfield prospecting and exploration works is US$12 million for three years from mid-2020.— STAFF WRITER.

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