451 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 42 714 after 519 new cases were reported, all local. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West with 228 cases. Localised lockdown remains in effect, Kariba (65), Karoi (60), Kwekwe and Chinhoyi (51). The following hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province Mhondoro (13), Masvingo Province Chiredzi (31), Mash Central Province Kazangare (16), and Bulawayo Province Nkulumane (8), Emakhandeni (16) and Northern Suburbs (9).
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 21st of June 2021 were 159 hospitalised cases, 40 asymptomatic cases, 75 mild to moderate cases, 38 severe cases and 6 cases in Intensive Care Units. (Mat North and Mat South, Manicaland and Mashonaland West did not report today). Active cases go up to 3 735. The total number of recoveries went up to 37 288 increasing by 88 recoveries. The recovery rate goes down further, marginally, from 88% to 87%. A total of 2 157 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 706 158. A total of 3 369 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 440 220. The death toll goes up to 1 691 after 6 new deaths were recorded.
We are concerned with reports indicating that 41 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded at Bindura prison, while 19 cases have been recorded at Mt Darwin Prison. Noting that on a daily basis, new entrants are sent to remand prison from the outside world, where they may have been exposed to the virus and remain asymptomatic, it is highly crucial for Government, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) and relevant stakeholders to establish effective infection control mechanisms in prisons and other places of detention. We therefore urge Government to urgently publicize and implement a comprehensive crisis plan to cater for the rights, needs and safety of detainees in the COVID-19 era. Particular attention should be made to vulnerable detainees such as juveniles, pregnant women, persons with disabilities and those with underlying health conditions.
Critical emerging issues
Accountability for Vaccine Procurement
Whilst we note the announcement by Government indicating that 500 000 doses of vaccines will be delivered in Harare on Saturday the 26th of June 2021, and that a further 2 million doses of the SINOVAC vaccine at the end of the month, we continue to demand accountability for the entire management process of procuring vaccines.
We remind the Government that prior to this announced procurement – there has only been one recorded purchase of vaccines – the 1.2million doses purchased from SINOVAC in 2020. The remaining vaccines were donated as follows: 500 000 doses donated by Sinopharm, 35 000 doses donated by India and 25 000 doses of Sputnik donated by Russia. This is despite the commitment announced on several occasion last year by Government regarding the monthly procurement of vaccines.
- We urge the Parliament of Zimbabwe to exercise its mandate over the COVID-19 vaccine program.
- 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.
- We amplify our calls for establishment of a Commission of Enquiry on the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe
Critical Outstanding Issue
Re-Opening of Schools
We note the announcement of the Cabinet’s approval of a 14-day delay for re-opening of schools and other learning institutions. During this period, we emphasise the need to strengthen and reinforce COVID-19 prevention and safety mechanisms within schools.
- We call upon Government to strengthen the improvement of water and sanitation infrastructure and services to schools across the country
- We urge expedition of Government-sponsored provision of masks and other PPEs to schools in preparations of resumption of operations of the education sector.
- We call for a moratorium of school-fees hikes in order to improve the rate of pupils’ school attendance in the face of the current lockdown induced- hardships.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)