392 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 24 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 064 after 19 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Mat North which had 8 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 23rd of April 2021 went down to 24 hospitalised cases, 12 asymptomatic case, 11 mild to moderate cases, 1 severe cases and 0 cases Intensive Care Units. Active cases went up to 1 407. The total number of recoveries went up to 35 101, increasing by 7 recoveries. The recovery rate still stands at 92.9%. A total of 4 756 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 324 488. A total of 1 358 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 47 611. The death toll remains at 1 556 after no death was recorded.
Critical emerging issue
1. Home-based Care
We continue to note a higher number of active COVID-19 cases which are currently being managed at home, as compared to the hospitalised cases. We therefore highlight our concerns on home-based care and lack of the support systems to assist such households. Reports from our networks indicate the non-operation of isolation centres in areas such as Kwekwe. Given these challenges, we reiterate the need for the Ministry of Health and Child Care to officially communicate and publicize information regarding the state of Isolation centres and hospitals throughout all Provinces and Districts of Zimbabwe.
We urge Government to introduce and implement measures to support home-based carers and primary care-givers in order to ease their burden and to minimize further risk of transmission.
- We urge up-scaling efforts on safe Isolation centres which are not overcrowded which also cater for the needs and rights of women such as the availability of sanitary aid and sexual and reproductive health services.
1. Vigilance through COVID-19 mass testing
We draw attention to concerns regarding the decreased levels of mass community testing being undertaken on a daily basis, especially in light of the Vaccine Roll-out currently underway.
Whilst we acknowledge and celebrate the vaccine uptake by citizens, we remain concerned at the need to strengthen vigilance on infection control at community level. We remain concerned at rural and public schooling communities who have had to pay for their own COVID-19 tests. We reiterate that exorbitant test costs of USD$60, reduces the efficacy of the surveillance system to test for prevalence of COVID-19 in rural communities and in public schools. We continue to emphasize on the need for an advanced test strategy which ensures community mass testing and contact tracing. We continue to emphasize that in the absence of mass community testing and public accounting for local transmission case-tracing, it is impossible to determine the appropriate reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic prevalence in Zimbabwe.
- We urge against de-prioritisation of testing, over the Vaccine roll out.
- We call for expanded testing in rural communities and public boarding schools
- We call for reduction of costs of tests for communities identified for surveillance to expand the number of persons able to access tests.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe