365 days of the COVID-19 lockdown and as of 28 March 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 36 822 after 4 new cases were reported. All are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Bulawayo with 3 cases. We note that the hospitalisation rate as of 1500hrs on the 27th of March 2021 went down to 22 hospitalised cases, 14 asymptomatic cases, 8 mild to moderate cases, 0 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went down to 699. The total number of recoveries went up to 34 603, increasing by 28 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up to 94%.
A total of 3 045 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 68 511. A total of 663 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 10 268. The death toll goes up to 1 520 after 1 new death was recorded.
Critical emerging issue
Accountability for COVID-19 Funding and Vaccines
We note our ongoing concern regarding the weak accountability for COVID-19 funds in Zimbabwe. We note with alarm the recent disclosure that Treasury has entered into a debt agreement with the Arab Economic bank for USD 10million to respond to COVID-19. We remain concerned about the accountability measures provided in relation to the contributions to the COVID-19 national response.
We have raised repeatedly discrepancies in the public domain regarding the funding by Treasury to COVID-19 research, response and vaccines. We remain alarmed that despite the best efforts of individual Members of Parliament and some Committees of Parliament, to seek clarifications on Treasury funds, the response remains grossly inadequate and dismal.
- We therefore urge a comprehensive public accounting of the state funding support towards the COVID19 Pandemic.
We continue to highlight the World Food Program, Zimbabwe Food Security Monitoring Report for February 2021. The report shows the increased number of people experiencing insufficient food consumption at 5.6 million during the last week of February, indicating an increase of 500,000 people since January. Whilst, we acknowledge the general decrease in inflation and note the continued reduction of Food inflation which decreased from 369% in January to 359% in February 2021, we continue to highlight that food prices are beyond the capacity of most households to support their food needs.
We accordingly highlight that for the same period, prices in bond note payments for the basic food items monitored increased by an average of 8% compared to January 2021, with the highest increase recorded for maize grain at an average of 15%. At the same time, prices in USD increased for the basic food items monitored by an average of 5% compared to January 2021, with the highest price increases reported for maize grain (9%) and sugar bean prices remained stable.
- We continue to call upon Government to support access to food for households facing hunger.
- We call upon expanded social protection measures to address food insecurity beyond the cash transfer grants presently being offered at USD$17.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe