Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 262 – WCoZ Situation Report

262 days of the COVID Lockdown, and as at 15 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 11 522, after 164 new cases were reported, all local cases. Active cases therefore went up to 1 613.  The total number of recoveries stands at 9 599, following 45 new recoveries. The death toll stands at 310. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continue to rise in Zimbabwe we remain disturbed by the ever-growing reports from healthcare workers who remain deeply concerned of their ability to access Personal Protective Equipment and have legitimate concerns regarding the risk they face:

  • We call upon Government to now act decisively in taking steps to prevent worker exposure by ensuring that every frontline worker and first responder is provided with adequate Personal Protective Equipment.

We continue to urge communities to cooperate to respect mask wearing regulations, the washing of hands and maintenance of social distancing when in public spaces and cooperate with the requirement to stay at home and respecting social distancing.  

Critical Emerging Issues

Safeguarding women’s and girls’ rights in the time of COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, and the State strengthens its response mechanisms, we continue to bring to the fore, the need to safeguard women’s and girls’ rights. This is anchored on adequate representation of women in decision-making position within the COVID-19 response structures.

We emphasize that women’s solutions should be informed by women’s experiences and lived realities. 

We therefore highlight 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.

Outstanding issues

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

While commending Cabinet on announcing moves for strengthening efforts to ensure adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures in the public transport sector, we raise concern over the increasing number of unauthorised public transport vehicles, which are illegally operating, without observing health safety protocols such as physical distancing, and sanitization. This raises concern especially in a context in which COVID-19 is quickly gaining ground in local communities. We therefore raise distress over the public transport sector becoming a potential super-spreader for COVID-19. 

  • We urge citizens to observe public health guidelines as they meet and interact in public places.
  • We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport system.
  • We urge businesses to continuously fumigate premises and workplaces for the safety of workers and patrons.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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