380 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 12 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 37 307 after 19 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Matabeleland South with 5 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 11th of April 2021 went up to 30 hospitalised cases, 0 asymptomatic cases, 14 mild to moderate cases, 11 severe cases and 5 cases Intensive Care Units. Active cases went up to 864. The total number of recoveries went up to 34 901, increasing by 28 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 93.5%. A total of 10 681 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 205 275. A total of 406 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 29 304. The death toll goes up to 1 542.
Critical emerging issue
1. Covid-19 vaccines
The reports from various part of the world this week have led to a rise in anxiety and concern regarding the vaccines available in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe presently has an approved local vaccine mix of four vaccines namely, Sinopharm and Sinovac from China, Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin.
We note further the announcement by the Government that approximately 1 million vaccines will be received per month going forward as part of on-going procurement.
We note reports on various issues regarding vaccines from China. At the same time, we note concerns regarding vaccines headed to Zimbabwe through the African Union facility which include the AstraZeneca vaccine and also anxieties pertaining to the Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
- We call upon Government to continue to advise the nation on the vaccine mix being received and administered in the country, in particular shifts in administration of vaccines to various age groups to respond to the latest medical sector reports.
- 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 after effects of vaccines.
1. Hospitalisation rate reporting
We continue highlight an area of concern regarding the daily Ministry of Health and Child Care reports. On the 12th of April, only 4 provinces out of 10 provinces Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Matebeleland South are the only provinces that reported their hospitalisation rates on the 10th of April 2021, meaning the majority of the provinces (6 out of 10) Bulawayo, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Matebeleland North and Harare
This is not the first time the hospitalisation rates have failed to represent the true picture of the hospitalisation rate across the country. The persisting inconsistencies have significant ramifications as they not only affect data quality but the level of preparedness and capacity of the nation to respond to the surge. Policy makers must have decision based on the best available data. The health system data must be reliable consistently not only when there is a national spotlight. The efficiently and effectiveness of government systems must be maintained at all times, not only at crisis moments. In light of real concerns of potential surge in infections this inconsistency cannot be ignored. There are real time implications of the readiness of the oxygen and COVID-19 treatment and management value chain which must be supported with the best most accurate information consistently.
- We continue to draw the attention of the leadership of the National Inter Ministerial Team on COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Parliament of Zimbabwe to the inconsistencies in reporting and data.
- We continue to raise issues regarding the internal system in the health sector that are highlighted by the deficiencies in reportage, secondly, we reinforce calls for maintenance high levels of data quality and integrity.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe