Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 413 – WCoZ Situation Report

413 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 15 May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 554 after 19 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Matabeleland North which had 10 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 14th of May 2021 were 13 hospitalised cases, 0 asymptomatic case, 7 mild to moderate cases, 5 severe cases and 1 case Intensive Care Units. We highlight the few province that reports hospitalisation rates namely Matabeleland South, in Bulawayo Mater Dei, Elangeni & Thorngroove, in Harare province only Health Point and Parirenyatwa. Active cases go up to 654. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 318 increasing by 10 recoveries.

The recovery rate remains at 94.2%. A total of 8 309 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 579 769. A total of 9 761 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 213 532. The death toll remains at 1 582 after no new deaths were recorded today.

Critical emerging issue

Increased social activities and non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures

We note an increase cases of COVID-19, and despite such increase we also continue to note the growing practice of non-adherence to safety measures such as physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks and inconsistency in sanitisation routines by businesses. This raises concern especially in a context where there is anxiety over the possibility of a third wave outbreak. We therefore worry that such complacency displayed by the public, businesses and employers may plunge the country into another wave of COVID-19.

  • We call upon enforcement agents to strengthen efforts to ensure adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures by the general public.
  • We urge citizens to observe public health guidelines as they meet and interact in public places such as drinking spots and beer halls.
  • We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport system.
  • We urge businesses to continuously fumigate premises and workplaces for the safety of workers and patrons.

Outstanding Issue

Domestic Vaccine Equity and The Rights of Workers

We fully acknowledge and support the critical relationship and engagements between the Government and the private sector in escalating the provision of vaccines. We commend further various efforts meant to expedite access to vaccines.

We however continue to spotlight the risks of privatisation of vaccines. Vaccines are a critical essential lifesaving intervention which must be provided to all.

  • We urge Government to recall that vaccine equity is therefore not only a matter of equitable access between nation states but also among citizens in within a country hence the need to ensure equitable public access.

Further, we continue to critique the pressure that workers in both the public service and the private sector are facing the “soft pressure” to get vaccinated in a bid to secure their work status. We raise concerns of reports of workers who have been told that there are free to choose to be vaccinated or not, but essentially their working status or roles require them to take up the vaccine.

  • Whilst citizens are indeed to be encouraged to get vaccinated a “Jabs for Jobs” policy is completely untenable.
  • We remind both the Government and Private sector that encouragement to get vaccinated goes beyond simply addressing the scourge of fake news, but also includes directly issues pertaining to the vaccine mix available for citizens to select and also the quality of the post vaccination monitoring and care available.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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