Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 426 – WCoZ Situation Report

426 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 28th May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 918 after 64 new cases were reported, all are local cases and of which the highest case tally was recorded in Matabeleland  South with 21 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 26th of May 2021 were 47 hospitalised cases, 8 asymptomatic cases, 32 mild to moderate cases, 5 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go up to 762. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 563 increasing by 22 recoveries. The recovery rate still remains at 94%. A total of 8 509 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 656 630.  A total of 14 898 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 320 166. The death toll stands at 1 592.

Critical emerging issue

Increased social activities and non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures

We continue to 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.

Outstanding issues

Outbreak of COVID-19 in Masvingo

Outbreak of COVID-19 in Masvingo of 94 cases at Bondolfi Teachers College Roman-Catholic Church-run institution. We note with commendations the efforts made by the taskforce in Masvingo in seeking to initiate test and trace procedures undress.

  • We continue to call for expansion of support to community teams to ensure that all traced persons are tested and as also beneficiaries of trauma counselling services.
  • We call for expansion of tracing services and in particular the testing of the community.

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.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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