271 days of the COVID Lockdown, and as at 24 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 12 786, after 130 new cases were reported, all local cases. Active cases therefore went up to 2 133. The total number of recoveries stands at 10 314, following 55 new recoveries. On 24 December alone, Zimbabwe recorded 9 new deaths, the death toll thus stands at 339.
Today the 25th of December, Zimbabwe and the world at large celebrated Christmas day with friends and families. Our monitoring shows that the past 24 hours have been heavily characterised by large volumes of vehicular and human traffic moving from one area to another, including inter-city travel. The reports also show that the public has been making little effort in observing physical and social distancing especially in public spaces, such as supermarkets and public transport.
Critical Emerging Issues
- Suspension of travellers’ screening at Beitbridge
In an effort to decongest the Beitbridge Border following the death of at least 15 outbound travellers seeking to cross into Zimbabwe, media reports indicate that South Africa has suspended COVID-19 screening at the Border. This is a very distressing development, and particularly worrying in this current context wherein COVID-19 cases are spiraling out of control both in South Africa and Zimbabwe, amidst report of a new deadlier COVID-19 variant, “501.V2 variant” with a greater speed of transmission.
- We continue to urge the Government of Zimbabwe to protect the efforts made in the health sector thus far and protect the fragile frontline sector from additional pressures.
- We further recommend steps to prevent to prevent the new variants from entering the country, despite South Africa’s relaxation on COVID-19 screening for outbound travellers.
Safeguarding women’s and girls’ rights in the time of COVID-19
As we move into the festive holidays, against the backdrop of an increase in COVID-19 cases, we continue to bring to the fore, the need to safeguard women’s and girls’ rights. This is anchored on the adequate representation of women in decision-making positions 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe