366 days of the COVID-19 lockdown and as of 30 March 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 36 839 after 17 new cases were reported. All are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 11 cases. We note that the hospitalisation rate as of 1500hrs on the 29th of March 2021 went down to 33 hospitalised cases, 2 asymptomatic cases, 15 mild to moderate cases, 13 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went up to 702. The total number of recoveries went up to 34 617, increasing by 14 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up to 94%.
A total of 1 240 people received their 1st doses of the vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 69 751. A total of 1 231 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 11 859. The death toll still stands at 1 520.
Critical emerging issue
Social Protection measures
We continue to amplify our concern that the majority of women in Zimbabwe and women-led households are facing the biggest impacts in food security, income loss, and caregiving burdens. We emphasize the need for prioritization of women’s access to social safety nets during COVID-19.
We note the announcement regarding the increase for the amount to be distributed to beneficiaries of the Cash Transfer System for vulnerable persons in COVID-19. The amount has moved upwards from ZWL $300 to ZWL $1,500. In US Dollar terms the increase is from USD $3.50 to USD $17.80.
We continue to recommend that Government announces the direct distribution of basic commodities and food in communities similar to the subsidized mealie meal distribution program.
- We call for the adequate funding of the National Social Protection Policy Framework.
- We urge Government to expand social safety nets and offset economic impacts for COVID19.
- We reinforce our calls for the provision of support for households who are no longer able to sustain themselves due to loss of livelihoods, especially women-led households and child-headed households.
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 at 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 COVID-19 Pandemic.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe