89 days into the lockdown, the Ministry of Health and Child-Care reported that as at 26 June 2020, the total number of Covid-19 cases had risen to 561, after 10 new cases were recorded today from returnees from South Africa and Mozambique.
Critical Emerging Issues
Relaxation on adherence to public health guidelines
We continue to note a general trend, throughout communities, businesses and public spaces, indicating a relaxation in observing social distancing, use of face masks and sanitizers.
Further noting that the same trends have been observed 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.
We highlight worsening economic hardships in communities, both, rural and urban settings due to the loss of income earning capacity for most households;
Furthermore, reports from our networks today reveal sharp price hikes of basic commodities such as cooking oil, sugar and flour as the Zimbabwe dollar continues to lose value against the US dollar;
- We continue to remind Government, of section 77 of the Constitution, which guarantees every person the right to sufficient food, and places an obligation on the State to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.
- We further urge the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and also the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe to investigate cases of illegal price hikes of basic commodities.
- Furthermore, we continue to urge the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare to expedite disbursement of food aid and grants to vulnerable communities in a transparent manner, without any political interference
More escapees from Quarantine facilities
Emerging reports continue to highlight recurring incidents of persons absconding Quarantine. While earlier this week, statistics showed that a cumulative total of 187 persons escaped Quarantine, to date. These reports point to inadequate surveillance and security measures within the Quarantine facilities.
We note this as great concern, especially in light of the spiraling Covid-19 cases being recorded from returnees;
- We urge the authorities to investigate the security activities within the Government-run centres which make it possible for patients escape.
- We call upon Government to reinforce and strengthen it security systems at quarantine and isolation centres.
Water and sanitation
Communities continue to face challenges in accessing adequate water and sanitation. We note that this global pandemic requires increased levels of hygiene and in particular, clean and safer portable water.
We highlight the plight of women in Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo and other surrounding areas who have been placed under phenomenal strain, as they seek to assess water through other alternative means;
- We therefore urge the critical need for the rapid escalation of medium- and long-term water solutions as part of the Covid-19 response actions.
- We therefore reiterate our demand for a comprehensive national approach and plan to address the chronic and persistent shortages of water in Zimbabwe’s communities
- We call upon an increased expedition of operational and administrative responsiveness to communities in crisis not only by the constrained Local Authorities but by central government and its applicable national institutions to ensure that citizens are able to access water.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe