Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 421 – WCoZ Situation Report

421 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 682 after 3 new cases were reported, all are local cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 22nd  of May 2021 were 13 hospitalised cases, 6 asymptomatic cases, 7 mild to moderate cases, 0 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go down to 643. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 453 increasing by 8 recoveries. The recovery rate still remains at 94.2%. A total of 2 148 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 632 496.  A total of 4 812 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 278 537. The death toll still stands at 1 586.

Critical emerging issue

Reduced media coverage of COVID-19

We continue to 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.

Outstanding 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.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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