247 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown and Zimbabwe moves from Level 4 to Level 1 lockdown. As of 30 November 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 10 034 marking a breach of over 10 000 cases in the country, after 84 new cases were reported with 61 local cases and 23 imported cases recorded from returnees. Active cases went up to 1 268. The total number of recoveries now stands at 8 489 after 7 new recoveries were recorded. The death toll goes up to 277 after one death recorded.
We note the low numbers of members of the public reporting for crossing at land borders and we await fuller reports regarding management of travellers as the week ensures.
- We remind all members of the public seeking to travel to ensure they have secured COVID-19 tests prior their departure and to remember to budget for COVID-19 tests as they return from the various countries.
- We call upon authorities and citizens to remain vigilant against the spread of the disease which despite low fatalities in Zimbabwe has already claimed one life too many in an illness that is fundamentally preventable.
- We highlight the concerns of the MPs who appropriately indicated high levels of weaknesses in regards to addressing the risks of COVID-19.
- We implore duty bearers and the National COVID-19 taskforce to robustly ensure the safety of the population in regards to border opening and all ancillary services to ensure the national case load does not become an unmanageable burden on our already deeply fragile healthcare sector.
Critical Emerging Issue
Lack of services at Harare Council Clinics
We highlight the context of Council Clinics in Harare. We are concerned with the number of council clinics that are simply closed. We fully acknowledge the support being provided by various civic health organisations who are literally providing services in tents within council premises. We further acknowledge that civic organisations in the health sector are plugging a real gap in providing access to Anti-Retroviral Treatment, TB medication and Sexual and Reproductive health services.
- We remain however concerned that the council clinics themselves are closed or are offering significantly reduces services.
We are alarmed that even basic services such as weighing of infants and immunisation programs are not practically accessible on the ground to infants.
We are completely dissatisfied with the fact that women have to continue to seek to raise inaccessible USD to pay for access to private health care clinics to get simply services like a monthly neonatal check-up. This is not okay.
We are further concerned by the crisscrossing that women have to undertake from one side of the Harare Metropolitan Provinces to the other side of the same province to access basic health care and maternal services in a context of extremely limited and abusive public transport services.
- We call for urgent state-driven interventions to address the above crisis in a manner the strongly reflects Government responsiveness to women directly in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Social security support to the vulnerable
Whilst we commend the support to vulnerable households negatively affected by the lockdown through the Financial Support to the Informal Sector which delivered assistance to 268 586 households. We remain concerned that this figure falls far below the targeted reach of 1 million households.
We raise concern at the gaps in reaching vulnerable citizens during the period Government is crafting economic blueprints and national budget which must address systemic economic exclusion and marginalisation that make 34% of Zimbabwean currently be classified as living in extreme poverty.
Whilst aware of the economic constraints in which Zimbabwe operate;
- We reiterate the better prioritisation of national resources and the increased stewardship of our resources will harness the financial resources necessary to deliver the Zimbabwe we want.
Whilst we commend the commend the direct support of provision of basic commodities to 15 institutions for people living with disabilities in Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland, Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East,
- We further call for an upscaling of support to persons living with disabilities who are not institutionalised.
- We continue to highlight the need for disability mainstreaming within the social protection framework and efforts to ensure persons with disability are directly integrated into the economic participation architecture of the state with the necessary supporting measures.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe