299 days of the COVID Lockdown, and as at 21 January 2020, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases increased to 30 047, after 639 new cases were reported, all are local cases, of which 293 cases are from Harare alone. Manicaland now has the second-highest new case tally of 83 cases. We note that the Harare Hospitalisation rate on the 20 January 2021 has gone up to 272 hospitalised cases, 173 mild to moderate cases, 81 severe cases and 18 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases have gone up to 9 561. The total number of recoveries went up to 19 569, following 316 new recoveries. The recovery rate continues to rest at 65.5%. The death toll has risen to 917 after 38 new deaths were recorded.
We continue to urge a publication of the National Hospitalisation rate, including provincial disaggregation with applicable percentage marked.
The 17th day of the 2nd hard lockdown and some communities continue to display lack of urgency regarding compliance with COVID-19 health guidelines, despite the increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
Critical Emerging Issue
Home-based care and high number of community deaths
We note a higher rate of COVID-19 deaths being recorded in households, of patients who have been receiving home-based care. We further note the limited numbers of COVID-19 patients admitted to health institutions. In Harare alone, out the 38 deaths that were recorded, 17 occurred within households. This brings to the fore discussions on home-based care and the support systems to assist such households. Reports from our networks indicate the non-operation of isolation centres in areas such as Kwekwe, Kariba and Bulawayo. Given these challenges, we reiterate the need for the Ministry of Health and Child Care to officially communicate and publicize information regarding the state of isolation centres and hospitals throughout all Provinces and Districts of Zimbabwe.
- We urge Government to introduce and implement measures to support home-based carers and primary care-givers in order to ease their burden and to minimize further risk of transmission.
- We urge up-scaling efforts to ensure safe isolation centres that are not overcrowded and which also cater for the needs and rights of women such as the availability of sanitary aid and sexual and reproductive health services.
Compliance with the lockdown and COVID-19 containment regulations
Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country, we continue to witness communities disregarding the lockdown and COVID-19 health guidelines. This is particularly so in areas such as Chinhoyi, where some beer stores continue to operate even beyond the 3 pm closing time. In most communities, reports continue to emerge that most members of the public in residential areas continue to move about without any face-masks and in total defiance of the movement restrictions. This is distressing given the current COVID-19 situation in the country. We commend the Zimbabwe Republic Police for moving swiftly in other areas to ensure strict enforcement of the lockdown.
- We continue to urge communities to exercise care and caution, by ensuring observance of public health guidelines and safety protocols which minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe