254 days of the COVID Lockdown , and as of 7 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 10 839, after 121 new cases were reported, all local cases. Active cases went up to 1 573. The total number of recoveries went up to 8 972, following 92 new recoveries. The death toll stands at 294, following 3 newly reported deaths.
We note and commend Cabinet’s announcement that the Ministries of Primary and Secondary Education and Health and Child Care will continue to strengthen the implementation of standard operating procedures at schools and public transport spaces in order to curb the increase in new infections. We reiterate the need to continuously publicize such standard operating procedures to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding curbing the further spread of the disease
Critical Emerging Issue
Safeguarding women’s and girls’ rights in the time of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 cases continue to increase, as have been the numbers of quarantined persons, we continue to bring to the fore, the need to safeguard women’s and girls’ rights, during COVID-19. This is anchored on the adequate representation of women in decision-making positions with the COVID-19 response structures.
We emphasize that women’s solutions should be informed by women’s experiences and lived realities.
We, therefore, highlight the lack of adequate women’s representation in various COVID-19 structures. We provide the following recommendations:
- A gender lens approach to all COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery efforts by Government, Parliament, decision-makers, local authorities and other stakeholders.
- Inclusion of more women’s rights organisations in the taskforce structures.
Community mass testing
While noting the rising statistics of active cases, particularly local transmissions, we recognize the need for an advanced test strategy which 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 provide 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe