Zimbabwe Lockdown: DAY 84 WCoZ Situation Report

84 days into the lockdown,

  • On the 20th of June 2020 the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the number of Covid-19 positive cases had increased to 486 cases. Noting that all the 6 newly recorded cases, were from returnees.
  • On the 21st of June 2020 the Ministry of the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the number of Covid-19 positive cases had increased to 489 cases. Noting that 2 of the 3 new cases were returnees and 1 case was a local trace contact of a prior positive case.

To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 6 Covid-19 deaths. We send messages of comfort and prayer to the family and loved ones of the deceased persons.

Zimbabwe has experienced a sharp spike in the past 72 hours of Covid-19 positive cases. We highlight the perspectives offered by Dr Tedros, WHO Director General whose advice is directly applicable to the Zimbabwean as the spike in Covid-19 cases includes both imported and local transmission cases.

“Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies, but the virus is still spreading fast, it is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible… We call on all countries and all people to exercise extreme vigilance.” Mr. Tedros urged people to continue social distancing and stay at home if they feel sick. “Keep covering your nose and mouth when you cough, wear a mask when appropriate” and “keep cleaning your hands.” Dr Tedros succinctly addressed Government when he stated: “We continue to call on all countries to focus on the basics: find, isolate, test and care for every case. Trace and quarantine every contact. ”

  • We accordingly await the publication of the results of the tracing teams covering at least 23 local transmission cases in communities yet to be identified and duly a cause for concern.

We note that today is the International Day of Yoga day under the theme yoga at work and yoga and home. We note that during this difficult time of the Covid-19 outbreak we note this global event which critically recognises an ancient ritual of wellness and awareness in the world whose practice is much needed now.

We also recognise the appointment of the Natural Therapists Council of Zimbabwe (NTCZ), which is the body responsible to the regulation and oversight over natural and traditional medications and therapies which play a significant role in the wellness and well-being of a significant number of children.

Critical Emerging Issues

Non-adherence to safety protocols and Public Health guidelines in religious spaces

Today marked the second Sunday, since the restriction on church gatherings was lifted. Reports from our grassroots champions and networks, in Mpopoma, Murehwa, Shurugwi and Caledonia areas state that a huge number of congregants attended to their respective churches of worship. The reports further reveal lack of adherence to safety protocols and public health guidelines such as use of masks, physical distancing and use of sanitizers. This is worrying, considering the rise in Covid-19 cases, especially community transmissions;

  • We urge church leaders to safeguard their congregants by ensuring strict compliance with the containment laws and public health guidelines.
  • We further urge the development and implementation of clear strategies for enforcing containment measures not only within the church, but throughout all public gatherings.

Report on the tracing of Plumtree and Beitbridge Prisons Covid-19 cases

Noting that we are yet to receive a publicized report on the protection of prison population. Further noting that the Ministry of Health and Child Care is yet to update the nation on the tracing of Covid-19 cases recorded at Beitbridge and Plumtree Prisons;

  • We await the long overdue update on the Covid-19 tracing status of the above-mentioned Prisons
  • We continue to urge Government to urgently publicize and implement a comprehensive crisis plan to cater for the rights, needs and safety of detainees in the Covid-19 era. Paying particular attention to vulnerable detainees such as juveniles, pregnant women, persons with disabilities and those with underlying health conditions.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe