340 days of the COVID-19 lockdown and as of 3 March, 2021 the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 36 179, after 31 new cases were reported. All cases are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 12 cases. We note that the hospitalisation rate as of 1500hrs on the 2 March, 2021 went down to 141 hospitalised cases, 103 asymptomatic cases, 30 mild to moderate cases, 6 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went down to 1 309 as the total number of recoveries went up to 33 392, increasing by 403 recoveries. The recovery rate now stands at 92.3%. A total of 2 893 frontline workers were vaccinated bringing the cumulative number of the vaccinated to 27 970. The death toll continues to stand 1 478 after 6 new cases were recorded.
We commend the inclusion of persons with disabilities as part of the target group for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. We continue to reiterate our calls on the dissemination of information that is disability user-friendly and easily accessible by persons with disabilities. This is critical in ensuring that the vulnerable group is able to make its own informed decisions regarding participation in the vaccine exercise.
Critical Emerging Issue
COVID-19 measures complimenting lockdown and vaccination
As citizens have resumed operations and movements following the relaxation of the lockdown, we urge stakeholders Government and citizens at large to continue to undertake significant steps to support infection control and minimisation of exposure to the virus. We call for measures that will aggressively compliment potential vaccine deployment.
We remain concerned at congested offices and service points of critical government services and raise alarm that these areas are potential super spreader spaces. We have been urging the retrofitting and re-organising of public service points that have large volumes of citizens seeking to access their services to ensure that life after lockdown does not increase infection control risks. We highlight services such as the central vehicle registry, district offices, in particular for the issuance of birth and death certificates, the passport offices, the driver’s license services and other such key government service points
- We call upon concerted efforts to decongest authorised public transport
- We call for strict compliance with sanitation measures on public transport services.
- We call for strengthened support to education centres and schools to access adequate water and sanitation services in light of the re-opening of physically schooling.
- We call for expanded community testing to ensure adequate testing and tracing regardless of the on-boarding of vaccines.
- We call for support to establish and sustain community-based isolation centres to alleviate the hardships of families and communities that cannot self-isolate.
- We call for supermarkets and retailers to enhance in-store monitoring and increased management of physical distancing at pay points and exists.
Community mass testing and tracing
We continue to note reports in the public domain wherein communities have expressed concerns regarding the efficacy of the COVID-19 tracing and testing currently being undertaken. We emphasize the need for an advanced testing strategy that ensures community mass testing and contact tracing to support the ongoing vaccine rollout. 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 urge a complete re-prioritisation of mass-based community testing and mass-based community.
- 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