Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 431 – WCoZ Situation Report

431 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 2nd of June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 39 031 after 33 new cases were reported, all are local cases and of which the highest case tally was recorded in Midlands with 15 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 1st  of June 2021 were 58 hospitalised cases, 7 asymptomatic cases, 39 mild to moderate cases, 9 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go down to 771. The total number of recoveries went up to 36 661 increasing by 17 recoveries. The recovery rate still remains at 94%. A total of 4 239 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 682 242.  A total of 4 694 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 357 972. The death toll remains at 1 599.

Critical emerging issue

Shortage of vaccines and Protests against vaccine shortages

We continue to highlight reports of the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine at various vaccination centres across the country. We highlight the reports of protests of persons going for second doses of the vaccines at various vaccination centres. We highlight the problematic reports of vaccines being made available under the counter from frontline workers as a result of the shortages. We highlight also to lack of acknowledgement and lack of communications regarding vaccines shortages from the Government and the COVID-19 Inter Ministerial Taskforce.

We continue to highlight the significant set-back that such shortages and poor communication of the same to the public is fuelling unnecessary speculation pertaining to the vaccination program within Zimbabwe.

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 is report of the 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 and the presence of the Indian variant is a critical matter which seeks immediate and urgent attention.

  • We continue to call for urgent operational measures to ensure that large vaccine centre with greater numbers of persons getting vaccinated are supported with doses from lower number vaccine centres
  • We particularly 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.
  • We call for Parliament of Zimbabwe to exercise its mandate over the COVID-19 vaccine program

Outstanding 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.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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