Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 253 – WCoZ Situation Report

253 days of the COVID Lockdown , and as of 6 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 10 718, after 101 new cases were reported, of which 46 are local cases, while 50 are returnees from South Africa.  Active cases went up to 1 547. The total number of recoveries went up to 8 880, following a new 36 recoveries. The death toll stands at 291.

We commend the efforts of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in seeking to clamp down on suppliers of fake COVID-19 tests. We commend law enforcement for reacting swiftly to reports.

We continue to commend efforts to ensure that COVID-19 tests at border are verified. We urge however that the process of verification be balanced against the realistic expectations of authorities in light of testing centres and types of tests as they are communicated to the travelling public.

Critical Emerging Issue

Community mass testing

While noting the rising statistics of active cases, particularly local transmissions, we recognize the need for an advanced testing strategy that ensures community mass testing and contact tracing. We submit that in the absence of mass community testing and public accounting for local transmission case-tracing, it is impossible to determine the appropriate reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic prevalence in Zimbabwe.

  • We reiterate our recommendation that equal attention is directed towards mass community testing, not only in schools.
  • We  further recommend that the Government provides a clear plan of action to maintaining vigilance on COVID-19 on testing tracing and treatment for the current period to mid-year 2021.
  • We further reinforce our call for an advanced testing strategy in the Public sector and urge Government to update the Nation on the progress of testing of all members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and all lockdown enforcement officers.

Outstanding Issue

Increased social activities and non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures

Despite the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, we continue to note the growing practice of non-adherence to safety measures such as physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks. 

Our networks have also raised concern over a high number of super-spreader social activities such as parties and weddings, where the public, including leaders and high-ranking public officials are disregarding maintenance of public health safety protocols such as physical distancing, and use of face-masks. This raises concerns especially in a context where COVID-19 local transmission cases are quickly gaining ground. We, therefore, worry that such complacency displayed by the public and employers may plunge the country into another wave of COVID-19.

  • We applaud enforcement agents for strengthening efforts to ensure adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures.
  • We urge leaders to lead by example in observing COVID-19 regulations and safety protocols such as wearing of masks.
  • We urge citizens to observe public health guidelines as they meet and interact in public places such as drinking spots and beerhalls.
  • We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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