Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 395 – WCoZ Situation Report

395 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 27 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 164 after 62 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Matabeleland North which had 32 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 26th of April 2021 went up to 49 hospitalised cases, 13 asymptomatic case, 25 mild to moderate cases, 8 severe cases and 3 cases Intensive Care Units.

Active cases went down to 1 119. The total number of recoveries went up to 35 480, increasing by 331 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up to 93%.  A total of 16 842 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 370 676. A total of 5 847 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 63 263. The death toll goes up to 1 565 after 5 deaths were recorded.

Critical emerging issue

1. 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 care-giving burdens. We emphasize the need for prioritization of  women’s access to social safety nets during COVID-19, taking due cognisance of the fact that a majority of women in the informal sector, such as the cross-border traders, have suffered severe loss of livelihoods. 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 ZWL1500, 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 COVID-19.
  • 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.

Outstanding issues

2. Challenges with Testing of COVID-19

We are concerned by the low levels of testing being conducted during a period where we are recording increased COVID-19 cases across several provinces. We continue to question the reach of community surveillance systems during reports of limited access to PCR tests and delays in deliveries of Antigen Tests.

  • We urge Government to upscale community testing by ensuring mobile testing is undertaken in communities
  • We call for prioritisation of testing and tracing whilst vaccination is on-going.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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