389 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 21 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 37 980 after 105 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland which had 77 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 20th of April 2021 went up to 41 hospitalised cases, 2 asymptomatic cases, 27 mild to moderate cases, 8 severe cases and 4 cases Intensive Care Units. Midlands, Masvingo, Manicaland provinces did not report today and neither did UBH in Bulawayo. Active cases went up to 1 360. The total number of recoveries went up to 35 065, increasing by 7 recoveries. The recovery rate stands at 92.9%. A total of 7 402 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 295 631. A total of 587 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 36 365. The death toll remains at 1 555 after 1 death was recorded today.
We continue to draw attention to the “Long COVID” phenomenon which has been described as experienced by both severe and mild COVID-19 patients who continue to experience negative health experiences weeks and months after they have been marked as recovered. We urge Government and stakeholders to prioritise provision of psychosocial support interventions to assist patients to maintain good mental health and psychosocial wellbeing while coping with the ‘Long COVID’.
Critical emerging issue
1. Platform for Reporting Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects
We commend the creation of a rapid reporting platform for members of the public to report side effects of COVID-19 side effects by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ). We welcome this operational mechanism to substantiate a tracking and monitoring system in Government to ensure citizens easily share side effects they may have experienced after getting the Covid-19 vaccine. This would address rising concerns in the public of side effects being discussed and reported in the public by those vaccinated.
- We therefore urge citizens to utilise the MCAZ online platform: http://e-pv.mcaz.co.zw or download the MCAZ app on Android or iOS
- We reinforce our calls on accessibility of the rapid reporting platform for all sections of society including rural, digitally-limited communities and hard to reach populations.
1. Non-Adherence to mandatory mask wearing
We highlight complacency and the decline in adherence to the mandatory mask wearing, public health guidelines right across the country as reported by our membership through a snap survey undertaken.
We are concerned regarding the laxity of mask wearing in the context of the full resumption of economic activities which are 80% in the informal sector whose workspaces are characterised by high levels of congestion and density of persons engaged in economic activities.
We are concerned by the weaknesses in supportive measures of sanitation and social distancing and the correlating implications on infection control.
- We continue to remind and stress to both, the public and policy makers that vaccination is not a substitute for infection control.
- We reiterate calls on adherence to physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks by businesses both formal and informal.
- We urge enforcement agents to strengthening efforts to ensure adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures whilst bully respecting the constitutional rights of citizens in the execution of their duties.
- We urge citizens to observe public health guidelines as they meet and interact in public places for social and economic activities.
- We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport system.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe