Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 8

Various reports indicate that to a large extent communities are staying at home in compliance with the call for lockdown. We remain concerned however with the limited observance of social distancing guidelines when citizens are in public spaces.

Critical Emerging Issues

As of 6th April 2020, we have noted the following critical emerging issues that require urgent redress:

1. Use of Herbal medicine for COVID-19 patients

Noting reports circulating on social media that Government has authorised the use of traditional medicine in treating COVID-19 patients, by consent and choice of the concerned patients; And while we have not yet fully confirmed the veracity and accuracy of this report;

  • We recommend, that should these reports be accurate, that Government puts in place measures for strict monitoring of the treatment, while firmly upholding and following WHO guidelines on prevention and control of
    the pandemic.

2. Measures for Persons With Disabilities

Deeply concerned by reports received from our various networks, particularly in Gweru, Epworth and Marondera, highlighting the challenges currently being faced by persons with disabilities in the face of COVID-19; Concerned further that Zimbabwe has now moved 8 days into the lockdown, without publicising specific measures to support persons with Disabilities during the COVID-19 lockdown;

Appreciating the comprehensive statement issued by the United Nations Chairperson on the UN Committee on Rights for Persons with Disabilities and the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General on Disability and Accessibility, regarding measurers to be taken for Persons with Disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis;

  • We intensify our call upon Government to publicize steps and measures for supporting persons with disabilities during the lockdown and also to ensure that special mechanisms are adopted, to lessen their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

3. Price hikes

Whilst we acknowledge the improvement of the accessibility of the subsidized maize to communities in Harare, Gweru, Kadoma, Bulawayo we remain deeply concerned by the growing reports of rampant price hikes for basic commodities whose affordability and accessibility are critical to secure the cooperation and tangible support of citizenry during the 21 Day Lockdown;

  • Particularly, reports from areas such as Gwanda, Kariba, indicating that 10kgs of mealie meal is being sold at $300-$350 Ecocash
  • We reiterate our call for the intervention of the Government by announcing recourse and remedies available to citizens, indicating, in particular, where citizens can report such profiteering.

Outstanding issues

1. Non observance of social distancing

Noting reports of citizens who continue to defy social distancing and other containment measures, particularly in Norton Parkingsdale, where it has been reported through our networks, that earlier today, some beerhalls were operating and residents were disregarding social distancing, until the Police came in to enforce the law and security;

Further concerned by reports received from Lupane, to the effect that communities have been disregarding social distancing as they queued for mealie-meal;

  • We urge communities to cooperate in exercising social distancing guidelines and upholding the law on containment of COVID-19.
  • We further urge, the Government, media, private players and civil society organisations to continue to practise social distancing and disseminate information on COVID-19, the lockdown and the law on containment of COVID-19.

2. Supply Lines for Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

Recognising the critical need to continue provision of sexual and reproductive health services during the lockdown.

Appreciating the inclusion of the sanitary-ware in the designation of essential services, and industries that are exempted to continue operations during lockdown;

  • Deeply concerned by numerous reports received from Harare, Gweru, Kwekwe, Chipinge, Chimanimani, Chitungwiza, Kadoma and Kariba indicating a desperate unmet need for family planning and sexual and reproductive health products and services;
  • We reinforce our call for special attention to the supply lines and delivery services of family planning and sexual and reproductive health products and services.

This SITREP is develop by and through the collective network of organisational and individual members of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe who are engaged at community levels to national levels in the COVID19 Zimbabwe response

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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