416 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 18 May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 595 after 4 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Midlands which had 6 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 17th of May 2021 were 28 hospitalised cases, 3 asymptomatic case, 18 mild to moderate cases, 5 severe cases and 2 cases Intensive Care Units. We highlight the provinces that did not report hospitalisation rates namely Masvingo, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Manicaland, in Harare province Arundel, St Anne’s and Wilkins. Active cases remain at 641. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 371 increasing by 22 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94.2%. A total 8 771 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 600 579. A total of 8 925 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 231 375. The death toll remains at 1 583 after one new death was recorded.
We note the announcement of the localised outbreak in Kwekwe which has confirmed that the COVID-19 variant B.1.617 pre-dominantly found in India has become prevalent in Zimbabwe. We note further the measures applied in response to this, which include a mandatory quarantine period for all travellers from India for 10days post arrival. We note that travellers will be required to have a PCR test certificate which was issued at least 48 hours prior to their arrival in Zimbabwe. We reinforce calls for vigilance in community mass testing systems. We urge expansion of the tracing teams to ensure stronger community surveillance. We further call for the increase of Oxygen supplies and operational readiness to ensure focused support to provinces that report prevalence of the variant. We urge amplification of messages to ensure communities respect the Anti-COVID-19 prevention measures.
Critical emerging issue
Use of Masks
Our monitoring reports continue to indicate that communities continuously disregard the use of masks and other preventative measures. This has been increased in markets, economic activity areas and public transport transit points where citizens continue to move around without observing physical distancing, improperly wearing masks, with noses exposed and, in some instances, outrightly wearing masks on their chins.
- We urge communities and citizens to follow the proper use of masks. We further urge citizens to overcome COVID-19 fatigue as we enter the cold seasons and ensure strict compliance with the public health guidelines, in their day to day lives.
- We urge the Government to step up efforts to combat COVID-19 fatigue as infections continue to increase and as the cold season is upon us to avoid a third wave.
Reduced media coverage of COVID-19
We note, with growing concern, reduced media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, as the Nation continues to implement the vaccination programme and threats of variants and mutations remain. We further note the COVID-19 fatigue not only amongst communities, but also amongst stakeholders, duty bearers, the media and information community. As the cold season is upon the nation, we reiterate that the vigilance of the press to COVID-19 issues domestically remains critical.
Cognisant of the key role played by the media in addressing matters of national concern;
- We urge the media to remain vigilant to the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
- We call upon the editors and respective newsrooms to continue to prioritise the coverage and reporting of COVID-19 as we face the threat of a third wave outbreak in winter.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)