Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 397 – WCoZ Situation Report

397 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 29 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 235 after 44 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Bulawayo which had 21 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 28th of April 2021 went up to 46 hospitalised cases, 13 asymptomatic case, 25 mild to moderate cases, 6 severe cases and 2 cases Intensive Care Units. We highlight gaps in provinces not report hospitalisation rates namely Midlands, Manicaland and Masvingo.

Active cases went down to 1 074. The total number of recoveries went up to 35 594, increasing by 77 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 93%.  A total of 12 750 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 400 771. A total of 6 834 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 76 826. The death toll goes up to 1 567 after 3 deaths were recorded.

Whilst we commend the vaccination of over four hundred thousand people, we continue to decry the slow pace of vaccination. We continue to point out that vaccination remains under 10% of the target vaccine population.

  • We amplify our recommendation for the expansion of vaccine centres to include mobile vaccination facilities and vaccines outpost at mass economic and social centres such as markets.
  • We urge a vaccine outreach program that draws access to vaccines closer to communities.

Critical emerging issue

1. Challenges with Testing of COVID-19

We commend the actions of provincial taskforce teams testing schools for COVID-19 as per their Standard Operating Procedures. We note that these critical interfaces are able to detect early, the need to test and trace infections at schools as evidenced by the Matebeleland North teams tracing actions over the past 2 days.

However, we continue to highlight concerns of the low levels of testing and access to tests in non-metropolitan provinces. In the same breadth, we continue to question the reach of community surveillance systems in the midst of reports of limited access to PCR tests and delays in deliveries of Antigen Tests.

We warn that a high rate of mass community is a critical element of testing and trace surveillance system for effective COVID-19 control.

  • 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 exercise is on-going.

Outstanding issue

1. Vaccination versus COVID-19 Infection control measures

We highlight to the public that current evidence shows that the existing COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing disease however the global science community is clear that there is still great uncertainty if vaccines can prevent people from becoming infected with the virus. We remind citizens that being vaccinated will stop the vaccine recipient from getting sick but will not stop the vaccine recipient from passing the virus onto others.

  • Once again we call for those vaccinated and those considering getting vaccinated that the rules apply to them as well. Persons who have been vaccinated must wash hands, wear masks properly, and keep their distance from others

Whilst fully aware that no vaccine is 100% effective yet.

  • We continue to call for adherence to physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks by businesses both formal and informal.
  • We call for 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 (WCoZ)

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