419 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 21 May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 664 after 29 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 20th of May 2021 were 30 hospitalised cases, 4 asymptomatic case, 18 mild to moderate cases, 7 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Unit. We highlight the provinces that did not report hospitalisation rates yesterday, namely Masvingo, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Matebeleland South, in Harare province Arundel, Health Point, St Anne’s and Wilkins. Active cases go down to 643. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 435 increasing by 8 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94.3%. A total 9 369 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 624 665. A total of 11 163 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 263 263. The death toll goes up to 1 586 after 1 new death was recorded.
We highlight the disjointed mass communication on the Kwekwe lockdown. The contrasting messages on the existence of the lockdown is unnecessary at time when communities are already in high levels of anxiety. The messaging on COVID-19 must be accurate consistent and reliable to be effective. We therefore urge better coordination and communication on messaging in order to keep the nation well informed.
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 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.
Policy Maker vigilance
Noting that as the vaccination drive goes past the 600 000 thousand mark, the rise of variants and the efficacy of existing variants to the vaccines becomes a critical issue for Zimbabwe. Taking note further of difficulties in Seychelles where currently, there is a wave of COVID infections despite an over 90% vaccination rate – with a vaccine mix similar to that of Zimbabwe.
- We therefore urge vigilance and readiness to the context of Zimbabwe in addressing COVID-19 by policymakers and critical implementing agencies in the Zimbabwe COVID-19 Response plan.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)