Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 406 – WCoZ Situation Report

406 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 7 May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 414 after 11 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare which had 5 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 7th of May 2021 were 17 hospitalised cases, 3 asymptomatic case, 9 mild to moderate cases, 2 severe cases and 3 cases Intensive Care Units. We highlight gaps in provinces that did not report hospitalisation rates namely Masvingo, Mashonaland West, UBH in Bulawayo and Parirenyatwa and St Anne’s in Harare Province. Active cases remain at 786. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 052, increasing by 36 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up marginally at 93.9%.  A total of 8 852 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 509 274. A total of 8 224 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 148 564. The death toll remains at 1 576 after no new death were recorded.

Critical emerging issue

The Case of Seychelles for Policy Makers in Zimbabwe

We highlight the global focus being placed on Seychelles which has fully vaccinated over 60% of its population against COVID-19 yet is currently facing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and accordingly, is returning several restrictions in a bid to contain to contain the rise in infections. We highlight reports that indicating that the country has a population of 100,000 people recorded close to 500 new cases in the three days leading to 1 May. Statistics indicate that a third of the active cases involved people who had had two vaccine doses. More than four-fifths of the active cases were among Seychellois people, with the remainder made up of foreigners. We highlight evidence showing that the Seychelles, began vaccinating its population in January 2021 using Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine doses donated by the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, by mid-April 2021, about 60% of the vaccine doses administered in the country were Sinopharm, with the rest Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses. We accordingly highlight these issues for policy makers in Zimbabwe that the vaccine mix profile of the Seychelles is similar to Zimbabwe and further in respect of reports undertaken on those vaccines the following status is critical to bear in mind. That vaccines trials in in China and the United Arab Emirates have put Sinopharm vaccine efficacy at 79% and 86% respectively. Researchers in Brazil placed the efficacy of another Chinese-made vaccine also available in Zimbabwe Sinovac vaccine, at 50.4%.

We draw reference to reports that in April, China’s top disease control official said the efficacy of the country’s COVID-19 vaccines was low, although he later insisted his comments had been misinterpreted.

  • We call for Policy makers in the National COVID-19 Taskforce to place vigilance on the reports emanating from the Seychelles.
  • We call for the Zimbabwe Scientific Community to provide regular updates on the implications for Zimbabwe in regard to the case of Seychelles in the upcoming weeks.

Outstanding issue

Recognition of the Role of Workers in Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis of Care

We highlight the role of essential service workers and other workers at large, in responding to the multi-layered crises spotlighted by the COVID-19. In particular, we highlight the deficiencies and the negative economic costs of state system that do not have the capacity to address the multi-layered trauma, nation-wide that is created, facilitated, and exposed by both natural and man-made crises including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We highlight that whilst the pandemic itself was indeed not fully anticipated, the question of lack of capacity by State systems to respond to the socio-economic stresses raised by crises remains on the table of Government. This responsibility has been made graver by the undermining of the role of workers within critical services arms of the State. We note concerns raised by various sections indicating that essential service workers, delivering critical services in health, education, social welfare and water and sanitation have been persistently de-prioritised and undermined as they acquit the critical care work which continues to be unrecognised, unrewarded, and unsupported.

  • We therefore reinforce our calls upon Government to fully address the conditions of service of all workers and to critically invest in addressing the crises of poor health, education and social welfare system that unnecessarily undermine all socio-economic and political efforts directed and securing the rights of citizens sustainably.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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