449 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 20th of June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 41 779 after 151 new cases were reported, all local. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West with 48 cases. Localised lockdown communities remains in effect in Kariba, Karoi, Kwekwe, and Makonde. The following areas are noted as COVID-19 hotspots namely; in Masvingo Province Masvingo District and Chiredzi, In Mash Central Province Mt Darwin, and in Bulawayo Province Nkulumane, Emakhandeni and Northern Suburbs, and finally in Mashonaland West Province Karoi, Magunje, Mhangura, Chirundu, Chinhoyi and Chidamoyo.
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 19th of June 2021 were 156 hospitalised cases, 31 asymptomatic cases, 82 mild to moderate cases, 33 severe cases and 10 cases in Intensive Care Units. Midlands, Matebeleland South, Matebeleland North and Mashonaland East did not report. Active cases went up to 2 923. The total number of recoveries went up to 37 184 increasing by 17 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 89%. A total of 1 717 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 703 065. A total of 3 096 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 435 668. The death toll went up to 1 672 after 6 new deaths were recorded.
Critical emerging issues
Measures to contain third wave
We remain concerned at the effectiveness of the lockdown enforcement versus the need to strengthen infection control. Further, we continue to note community reports that are indicating contact tracing is simply not adequate to cater for the tracing of individuals who test positive for COVID after several days of non-adherence to public health measures. We remain concerned at level of access to testing for communities in Hotspot districts and the in particular the steady supply of tests. We continue to critique the responsibility of markets to self-enforce measures with limited State- support of COVID-19 safety products and PPE, particularly in disadvantaged and marginalised communities.
- We urge increased enforcement of COVID-19 control measures and enforcement measures to ensure increased compliance to infection control.
- We reinforce our calls for vigilance and strong adherence to public transport measures to ensure a reduction in cases and potential super spreader events.
- We amplify calls for the establishment of mobile screening centres on the country highways to counter the risks of the inter-provincial travel.
Critical Outstanding Issue
The Re-opening of Schools for Second term during the Third Wave of COVID-19
We note that presently schools are closed as part of the winter break. We note further the eminent re-opening of schools for the second term whilst COVID-19 infections are on a rapid increase and there have been distressing records of death in education centres over the past week.
We note the deeply inter-connected relationship of schools and communities and that tracking infections of COVID-19 are critical to ensuring that communities do not spread infections to schools or that schools do not become super spreader points.
We are fully aware of the alarming 23% drop out rate of learners from schools and the negative consequences on the disruption of the education sector.
We continue to bemoan the limited interventions to improve access to education for learners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, we note the present USD100 million (ZWL9.billion budgetary surplus) in the first quarter of this year, as reported by the Ministry of Finance and urge the Government to relook at investing in rapid expansion of education support services to plug the arising gaps.
- We continue to emphasise on the need to prioritise the safety of learners together with their teachers and supporting staff within the education sector.
- We urge preventative measures for vulnerable pupils in preparedness for the resumption of schools, be clear, and transparent
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)