Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 187 – WCoZ Situation Report

187 days of COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, as at 2 October 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases increased to 7 858 after 8 new cases were reported. Active cases went down to 1 308. 10 new recoveries were recorded. The total number of recoveries stands at 6 322. The death still stands at 228 as no death was recorded in the last 24 hours. 

We highlight the confusion that the general public appears to have regarding the re-opening of borders in Zimbabwe. We reiterate that land borders are not yet open. The airport may be open but land borders are not yet open. We urge the Government to be clearer and stronger in messaging changes in COVID-19 regulations to avoid unnecessary hardship experienced by the generality of the Zimbabwean public.

Critical Emerging Issues 

Use of public transport

We note the return of commuter omnibuses run by private players. While appreciating that this development will go a long way in easing public transport shortages, we highlight concern over responsiveness to COVID-19 safety protocols and health guidelines. Our networks report that some of commuter operators plying long-distance routes are failing to maintain public health safety protocols such as physical distancing, and sanitization. This raises concern as such slackening may affect the system’s ability to detect potential COVID-19 cases amongst the commuting public, thus exposing the public to infection.

  • We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport system.
  • We urge enforcement agents to ensure that physical distancing is upheld by public transport operators.

Access to sanitary wear for female pupils

As marginalised sections of the population, in particular women and girls continue to face the brunt of the lockdown, challenges continue to mount on access to sexual reproductive health products, such as sanitary wear. This challenge has been attributed to budgetary and financial constraints presented by the lockdown measures, which have resulted in most households losing their income-generating capacity. 

This comes particularly at a time when schools are re-opening, and female pupils are expected to report for school, without any means to access pads for use during the menstrual cycle in school 

  • We call upon Government to develop and implement programs that will ensure that female pupils access free sanitary wear as they return to school. 
  • We therefore recommend that Government rightly directs its attention to the challenges that women and girls are currently facing, and addresses those appropriately.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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