Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 79 WCoZ Situation Report

79 days into the lockdown, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that as at the 16th of June 2020, the number of Covid-19 positive cases had increased to 391 cases. The number of recovered patients currently stands at 62.

We note with anticipation the announcement of the usage of an affordable, drug already in wide usage and circulation that has proven particularly effective in the treatment of the Covid-19 patients who are critically ill. We call upon universal usage and access to be maintained to all the treatments and vaccines of Covid-19.

We join Africa and the rest of the world in commemorating the June 16 the Day of the African Child and we amplify the voices of young persons in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic;

  • We urge the Government to make an effort to include the missing voices of learners in the discourse of reopening of schools;
  • We call upon education sector platforms to make efforts to addresses the fears and perspectives of leaners in our education sector.

Critical Emerging Issues

Restrictions in movement by the security agents

Incidents where citizens are harassed and restricted from freely moving around, continue to rise. Today residents of Gwanda, Zvishavane, and Bulawayo areas reported restrictions on movement by security forces, despite most of them being part of the essential services exempted under the Covid-19 regulations. Such restrictions have also seen most residents of Gwanda failing to access the venue for the Constitution Amendment Bill 2 Hearings today.

We continue to note that this is indeed a growing trend on the distortion of the definition of essential service through the methods of enforcement wherein persons who are stated in the regulations as essential service continue to be harassed by enforcement officers;

  • We reiterate our calls for an official position on movement, travel permits and essential services, as we have noted growing inconsistences throughout the past few weeks.
  • We reinforce our calls upon the enforcing agents to exercise restraint and avoid unleashing terror and violence upon communities, under the guise of enforcing lockdown.

Social Distancing

We continue to note a general trend, throughout communities, indicating a relaxation in observing social distancing, since the Nation’s transition into Level 2, particularly in the rural areas and markets.
Further noting the challenges citizens are failing in observing social distancing within the public transport system;
Concerned that failure to adequately observe social and physical distancing may erode all the gains recorded so far in the Covid-19 battle;

  • We remind the general populace on the need to fortify their efforts in maintaining both social and physical distancing, in every environment which may include work, public transport or supermarkets.

Price Hikes

Remaining concerned with reports indicating price hikes for basic commodities, throughout the country. Noting that the economic situation has deteriorated further due to Covid-19, the lockdown and loss of income. This means that such households are plainly and wholly relying upon the Government for their very survival. We appreciate that access to food is a fundamental human right, which the State must fulfil for its citizenry;

  • We therefore urge the State to expedite social protection and food aid programs and to implement comprehensive feasible strategies to alleviate economic shocks presented by Covid-19.

Outstanding Issue

Challenges accessing public transport

We continue to note growing challenges in accessing public transport, particularly in Gwanda, Kadoma, Sanyati, Zvishavane and Guruve.

Reports also indicate, that in other areas, in order to mitigate this challenge mshika-shika has also resumed operations. This places commuters at the risk of exposure to Covid-19, given lack of regulation and compliance by the mshika-shika system. These developments come in at a time when ZUPCO remains the sole transport provider during the lockdown.

  • We continue to recommend further consultations with the public transport associations in order to develop solutions that effectively address the challenge, while at the same time ensuring that the commuting public is not exposed to Covid-19.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe