Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 420 – WCoZ Situation Report

420 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22 May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 679 after 15 new cases were reported, all are local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Bulawayo  which had 9 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 21st  of May 2021 were 29 hospitalised cases, 6 asymptomatic case, 15 mild to moderate cases, 7 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go up to 648. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 445  increasing by 10 recoveries. The recovery rate slightly drops to 94.2%. A total 5 683  people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 630 348.  A total of 10 642  recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 273 725. The death toll still stands at 1 586.

Critical emerging issue

Community mass testing

We note a decrease in the number tests currently being undertaken on a daily basis, especially in light of the Vaccine Roll-out currently underway. We draw attention to congested public spaces such a government service centres for transport, documentation, agriculture and other public services. We further remain troubled by the weak adherence to social distancing and mandatory mask wearing in retail centres and community social events.

We continue to emphasize on the need for an advanced test strategy which ensures community mass testing and contact tracing. We continue to emphasize that in the absence of mass community testing and public accounting for local transmission case-tracing, it is impossible to determine the appropriate reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic prevalence in Zimbabwe.

  • We urge against de-prioritisation of testing, over the Vaccine roll out.
  • We call for expanded testing in rural communities and public boarding schools
  • We further reinforce our call for an advanced testing strategy in the Public sector and urge Government to update the Nation on the progress of testing of all members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and all lockdown enforcement officers.

Outstanding issues

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)

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