425 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 27th May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 854 after 35 new cases were reported, all are local cases and of which the highest case tally was recorded in Matebeleland with 8 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 25th of May 2021 were 37 hospitalised cases, 5 asymptomatic cases, 22 mild to moderate cases, 6 severe cases and 4 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go up to 721. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 541 increasing by 10 recoveries. The recovery rate still remains at 94%. A total of 4 590 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 648 121. A total of 11 759 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 309 268. The death toll still stands at 1 592.
Critical emerging issue
Community mass testing
We continue to 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.
Shortage of vaccines
We highlight reports of the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine at various vaccination centres across the country. We highlight the significant set-back such shortages have on both the global vaccination program within Zimbabwe ,and the efforts within communities to support increased uptake of vaccines. We note with concern reports of citizens who have been turned away due to shortage of the first doses of the vaccine at vaccine centres inoculation centres
Compounded against this, are reports of short supplies of the second dose of the vaccine which threatens to hamper effort made by citizens who already began their vaccine journeys.
The gravity of the shortage vaccines, with the threat of the third wave of COVID-19, driven by winter seasons, compounded by the super-spreader which have now become the order of the day, and the presence of the Indian variant, becomes a critical matter which require immediate and urgent attention.
- We call for urgent operational measures to ensure that large vaccine centres with greater numbers of persons getting vaccinated are supported with doses from lower number vaccine centres.
- We call for accountability from Treasury directly which has repeatedly assured citizens that the supplies of vaccines have been supported by both increased uptake of international debt and budget surpluses and monthly procurement to explain this discrepancy.
- We continue to call for an expansion of the vaccines mix available in Zimbabwe to support the vaccine programme.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)