414 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 16 May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 560 after 6 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare which had 2 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 15th of May 2021 were 17 hospitalised cases, 1 asymptomatic case, 6 mild to moderate cases, 9 severe cases and 1 case Intensive Care Units. We highlight that there are few provinces that report hospitalisation rates namely Matabeleland North, Matebeleland South, in Harare province only Health Point and Parirenyatwa only. Active cases go down to 649. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 329 increasing by 11 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94.2%. A total 1 846 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 581 615. A total of 1 790 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 215 332. The death toll remains at 1 582 after no new deaths were recorded.
Critical emerging issue
Monitoring of Variants in Zimbabwe
We take note of the continuing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe, in particular travel related containment measures. However, we seek an update regarding the Variants of COVID-19 currently spreading in Zimbabwe. This update remains critical at this time to support the response mechanism of communities and the public to adherence to anti-COVID-19 measures. We note the concerns of communities to the potential presence of the variant which has been identified in India and also the potential changes in the variants and mutations which were already circulating locally.
We urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care to update on the current mutations and variants identified in Zimbabwe.
Slow Pace of Vaccination
We highlight the continued slow pace of vaccination. We remain concerned that whist in comparison to other States, Zimbabwe vaccination is performing well, we continue to gauge against our own national standards as set in the National Vaccination Program which we continue to fail to meet. With the onset of winter and potential rise of COVID-19 as a seasonal risk, we call for a change in gear in the approach taken to support increased vaccination uptake, including expansion of vaccine mix, spread of vaccine centres to economic and social centres and a different messaging tools to ensure that those who seek vaccination are able to actually access vaccines.
- We urge Government to support the storage facilities of vaccines in rural communities are marginalised communities in light of the slow vaccination drive.
- We call for Government to shed light on public concerns on the expiry rate of vaccines to dispel fears in the public domain.
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 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)