370 days of the COVID-19 lockdown, and as of 2 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 36 903 after 7 new cases were reported. All are local cases. The highest case tallies were recorded in Mash West with 3 cases. We note that the hospitalisation rate as of 1500hrs on the 1st of April 2021 went down to 30 hospitalised cases, 3 asymptomatic cases, 17 mild to moderate cases, 7 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went down to 671. The total number of recoveries went up to 34 708, increasing by 10 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94%. A total of 16 024 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 103 815. A total of 3 422 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 20 938. The death toll now stands at 1 524 after 1 new death was recorded.
We commend the efforts of the public who have sought to get vaccinated over the Easter Holidays. In the same breadth, we also commend the efforts made by central hospitals and Local Authorities who have ensured vaccine centres remain open throughout the national break. We accordingly take note that yesterday over 16 000 persons received a vaccination, which again breaks records in the vaccination drive with 2 April representing the largest single day for 1st vaccine administration indicative of the rapid pace of vaccination at this stage.
Whilst we commend the rapid administration of vaccines, we urge for improvement in queue management and managing the public outside vaccines centres namely at Wilkins hospital.
Critical emerging issue
We commend the announcement regarding vaccine availability. We note further that the approved local vaccine mix includes four vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac from China, Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin. We note the arrival of a further 1 056 000 doses of vaccine procured by the Government from China. We note further the announcement by the Government that approximately 1 million vaccines will be received per month going forward as part of ongoing procurement.
- We call upon Government to continue to advise the nation on the vaccine mix being received and administered in the country.
- We call upon the government to continue to advise the nation regarding vaccine procurement and vaccine stores.
- We call for the government to publicize the reports from the sub-committee of the Inter-Ministerial Team on COVID-19 on monitoring and evaluation of the responses of persons vaccinated to encourage public knowledge on the after-effects of vaccines.
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. While noting the announcement regarding the increase for the amount to be distributed to beneficiaries of the Cash Transfer System for vulnerable persons in COVID-19 from ZWL $300 to ZWL $1 500, we are concerned that the disbursements have not yet been distributed to beneficiaries.
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 recommend the expedition of the distribution of cash transfers to beneficiaries.
- We call for the adequate funding of National Social Protection Policy Framework.
- We therefore 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe