210 days of COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, as of 25 October 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases increased to 8 276 after 7 new cases were reported. Active cases went down to 242 after 12 new recoveries were recorded. The total number of recoveries stands at 7 797. The death toll now stands at 237 after 1 death was recorded.
We highlight the reports of some artists holding live shows with physical audiences in contravention of COVID-19 regulations. Whilst we note and highlight the incredible difficulties faced by the arts and entertainment community of Zimbabwe, as a result of the lockdown restrictions and regulations that bar live performance shows which drive the lives and livelihoods of the sector, we raise alarm at the increased holding of live shows which have the potential to be super spreader events.
We note the consistent and persistent rise in COVID-19 cases over the past 15 days and note with concern that the mass resumption of sectors, without enforcement of COVID-19 regulations is leading Zimbabwe up the curve of the COVID-19 contraction of new cases.
We acknowledge the statements of the Zimbabwe Republic Police threatening to enforce COVID-19 regulations. We note the reports of widespread occurrences of popular liquor nightspots, weekend gigs and other popular venues hosting live music shows around the country, without adherence to COVID-19 measures.
- We call for equal enforcement of the law.
- We call for increased awareness and publication of simplified rules on COVID-19 regulations still in place.
- We call for the expedition of real-time support to the artistic sector through both the resilience funds and the vulnerability support to ensure that the fragile arts sector receives real ameliorative support in the context of the on-going ban on their socio-economic engagements.
Emerging Critical Issues
Increased social movement and non-adherence to lockdown restrictions
We note heightened social activities during weekends, such as various forms of worship gatherings, weddings and braai parties.
We further continue to note a general trend, throughout communities, businesses, places of worship 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;
Gravely concerned with the continuing spike of COVID-19 cases and concerned that failure to adequately observe social and physical distancing may erode all the gains recorded so far in the COVID-19 battle,
- We therefore recommend a strict enforcement of the lockdown.
- We further remind the general populace on the need to fortify their efforts in maintaining both social and physical distancing, in every environment.
Phased opening of schools
We highlight that tomorrow, the 26th of October 2020, the education sector will resume lessons for students under the second phase. We continue to highlight the need to prioritise the safety of learners and their teachers, from potential COVID-19 risks.
Noting the ongoing challenges within the Education sector which require speedy redress, we therefore recommend:
- Engagement in dialogue between Government and teachers in resolving the ongoing challenges.
- Strengthening safety protocols and measures within the Education sector to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools.
- Provision of facemasks and sanitizers to pupils and teachers.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe