Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 377 – WCoZ Situation Report

377 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 9 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 37 147 after 95 new cases were reported, all are local cases.

The highest case tally was recorded in Matebeland South with 78 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 8th of April 2021 went down to 24 hospitalised cases, 0 asymptomatic cases, 13 mild to moderate cases, 8 severe cases and 3 cases Intensive Care Units. Active cases went up to 781. The total number of recoveries went up to 34 831, increasing by 17 recoveries. The recovery rate goes down at 93.8%. A total of 11 694 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 178 237. A total of 834 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 27 968. The death toll goes up to 1 535 after one new death was recorded.

Critical emerging issue

1. Need for strengthening infection control measures in schools

We highlight the continuing outbreaks of COVID-19 in Schools in Matabeleland South as we commend the testing the tracing systems in place that have tracked this outbreak. Today we highlight the tracing effort that has seen the surveillance teams track an additional 78 cases from one school in the province.

  • We continue to urge the Provincial heads of COVID-19 Task Teams in other provinces to expand their testing
    and tracking of COVID-19 in schools to ensure early tracking and stronger infection control systems to stop the possible onset of the 3rd wave.

We highlight that 55 cases of COVID-19 that have been tested and traced at Sacred Heart Secondary, Falcon College
and certain primary schools in Umzingwane district. We note reports that at Scared Schools, of the 136 persons tested,

85 tested negative whilst 51 tested positive We further note that the 51 positives include 2 staff members, four day-scholars and 45 boarders tested positive. We note further, separate reports of three cases of students at Girls College in Bulawayo who have also tested positive. While we commend the actions of the schools to test and trace pupils to support infection control efforts, we reinforce calls for:

  • Support to testing and tracing of COVID-19 in public schools.
  • Direct efforts to test students in public boarding schools and in community schools to stem the potential super
    spreader potential of infections in schools.
  • We continue to remind the Government that vaccination is not a substitute for infection control.

We sincerely hope that COVID-19 surveillance systems throughout the country are as robust as the ones in operation in Matabeleland South. We note that this province similarly traced outbreaks pre December 2020 with similar vigilance. We urge the other provinces to exercise the highest levels of vigilance and protect learners and learning institutions from wide spread outbreaks of COVID-19.

Outstanding issue

1. The right to quality education amidst cancellation of June Exams

We note the cancellation of the June Exam by ZIMSEC. We appreciate the acknowledgement of the deficits caused by disruption in the education calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We continue to raise concern however on the late announcement of this cancellation. The inability to appropriately forecast and announce shifts in regards to education calendars raises undue anxiety in learners who have been participating in various catch up programs with fear of failure causing distress.

We highlight the traumatic impact of stress on young persons and

  • We call for administrative matters that are responsive to the context of young persons.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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