336 days of the COVID-19 lockdown and as of 26 February 2021 the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 36 089, after 31 new cases were reported. All cases are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 15 cases. We note that the hospitalisation rate, as at 1500hrs on the 27th of February 2021, went up to 135 hospitalised cases, 70 asymptomatic, 52 mild to moderate cases, 4 severe cases and 9 cases Intensive Care Units. Active cases went down to 1 960 as the total number of recoveries went up to 32 666, increasing by 76 recoveries. The recovery rate went up to 90.5%. 3 138 frontline workers were vaccinated bringing the total to 18 843 vaccinations. The death toll continues to stand 1 463 as no new cases have been recorded.
The 50th day of the 2nd hard lockdown and we note the relaxation of the lockdown, marking the end of the 2nd hard lockdown. We urge citizens to continue to observe public health guidelines to minimise risk of further transmission and exposure to the COVID-19.
Critical Emerging Issue
We continue to note a higher number of active COVID-19 cases which are currently being managed at home, as compared to the hospitalised cases. We therefore highlight our concerns on home-based care and lack of the support systems to assist such households. Reports from our networks indicate the non-operation of isolation centres in areas such as Kwekwe. 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 care givers and primary care-givers in order to ease their burden and to minimize further risk of transmission.
- We urge up-scaling efforts on safe isolation centres which are not overcrowded which also cater for the needs and rights of women such as the availability of sanitary aid and sexual and reproductive health services.
We note reports indicating low uptake of the vaccination and therefore stiff resistance and suspicion from Zimbabweans due to a lot of misinformation circulating on social media. We also highlight concerns from citizens including frontline workers underscoring the need for sufficient information on the safety of the vaccine, its possible side effects, if any, and the percentage of protection against the South African variant which is prevalent in the country.
- We therefore urge Government to improve its communication strategy to ensure that citizens are adequately informed on all issues pertaining to the virus, including its efficacy against the South African variant.
- We further urge prioritisation and deliberate inclusion of vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities in the vaccination programme.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe