Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 249 – WCoZ Situation Report

249 days of the COVID Lockdown and Zimbabwe moves from Level 4 to Level 1 lockdown. As of 2 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 10 243, after 114 new cases were reported, all local cases.  Active cases went up to 1 295. The total number of recoveries went up by 28 new recoveries and now stands at 8 671. The death toll remains at 277 for the third consecutive day.

We note the measures to reduce the number of people in gatherings to 100 to include social gatherings and advise the public on measures to stay safe as the pandemic is in a second surge.

We commend reports indicating the numbers of the public turned away from various land borders by authorities for lack of authentic COVID-19 tests and improper travel documents amongst other matters.

We highlight reports indicating on the 2nd of December 2020 the numbers of persons turned away from various borders were as follows;

  • 622 (approximately ) people from 6,338 Zimbabweans intending to cross at Beitbridge border post 
  • 230 (approximately) people from  2,148 Zimbabweans intending to cross at Plumtree border post 
  • 531 (approximately) people intending to cross at Forbes border post, 
  • 314 (approximately) people intending to cross at Chirundu border post. 
  • 38 (approximately) people intending to cross at Nyamapanda border post.
  • 41 (approximately) people intending to cross at Victoria Falls border posts.

We continue to urge a robust media information campaign to :

  • advise the travelling public of what is expected of them at border posts. 
  • widely publicise places for the public to access COVID-19 Tests affordably. 
  • advise the public on authentication procedures at borders for COVID-19 test.
  • procedures to seek remedies if the public consider the treatment received at border posts to be irregular or in violation of any of their constitutionally protected rights.

Critical Emerging Issue

Harassment of school pupils by the Police

We are disturbed with the video footage currently circulating on social media platforms, of members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police harassing and unleashing physical force on pupils without face-masks at a local High School in Kwekwe. 

We condemn this unjustified act by the Police which exhibits abuse of power by members of the Security Sector.  While we emphasise the importance of ensuring use of face-masks as a means to minimize spread COVID-19, we also question the progress by Government in supplying masks to schools, to reach the target of “3 masks per learner”.

  • We therefore continue to call upon Treasury to expedite payments for critical supplies.
  • We urge members of the Security Services to desist from taking the law into their own hands, and inflicting harassment on citizens.  

Outstanding issue

Re-opening of Land Borders

We note that yesterday, the country’s main ports of entry officially reopened to private passenger vehicles and pedestrians. We note that travellers have been undergoing strict COVID-19 health regulations. 

  • We urge strict enforcement for COVID-19 prevention and safety protocols to ensure accurate and early detection of potential cases at entry points.
  • We further urge health authorities to ensure prioritisation of safety of all returnees by ensuring that the handling of returnees is conducted in a safe and expedient manner, without opening them up to a potential risk of  exposure to COVID-19.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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