428 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 30th May 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 38 944 after 11 new cases were reported, all are local cases and of which the highest case tally was recorded in Bulawayo with 5 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 29th of May 2021 were 52 hospitalised cases, 5 asymptomatic cases, 33 mild to moderate cases, 11 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go down to 759. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 591 increasing by 13 recoveries. The recovery rate still remains at 94%. A total of 3 969 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 670 755. A total of 5 539 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 341 218. The death toll still stands at 1 594.
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.
Effective Localised Lockdowns
We highlight issue pertaining to Localised lockdowns which are critical to consider as the likelihood of localised lockdowns are likely to characterise life post-full relaxation of the COVID-19 regulations and prior to 60% vaccination of the Zimbabwean population. We highlight the current Localised lockdown in Kwekwe and Bondolfi Teachers College in Masvingo.
We are concerned by the community reports in Kwekwe that indicate that the life is going on as per usual with very nominal signs of the lockdown being present or respected. We note further that the Kwekwe local community does not appear to have incurred notable changes in their everyday socio-economic lives despite the stringent lockdown measures announced which ought to have brought on a strong return to high level lockdown to stem the potential rise in COVID-19 cases, after confirmation of the Indian variant was first confirmed in Zimbabwe. We note the critiques arising from the community in Kwekwe regarding the weaknesses of the response to the need for a lockdown or the need for a lockdown in the first place.
In Masvingo at Bondolfi Teachers College we note the restrictions on the entire 303 population of the college with some students under quarantine and others under isolation. We note further the restrictions pertaining to visitors to the campus.
- We call for the rapid implementation of the localised lockdowns to ensure that the lockdowns are indeed effective by being put in place at the earliest moment.
- We call for expanded testing and tracing capacity in communities surrounding the outbreaks of COVID-19 to ensure that community surveillance is concrete.
- We call for full and human rights respectful, enforcement of lockdown measures on socio-economic institutions and processes including stores and markets.
- We call for community testing in places of localised lockdowns even where the outbreaks occur in what may appear as a contained community.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)