452 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 23rd of June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 43 480 after 766 new cases were reported, 765 local and 1 returnee from Tanzania. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West with 242 cases. Localised lockdown updates are as follows today Kariba (40), Karoi (54), Kwekwe (28) and Chinhoyi (24). The following hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province Mhondoro (13), Chibara (18), Doro (18) Nyangoma (20), Chidamoyo (15), Kazangare (16), Masvingo Province Chiredzi (32), In Mashonaland East Marondera (32), and in Bulawayo Province Nkulumane (15), Emakhandeni (29) and Northern Suburbs (31). We note the lack of update for Mash Central.
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 22nd of June 2021 were 241 hospitalised cases, 63 asymptomatic cases, 133 mild to moderate cases, 36 severe cases and 9 cases in Intensive Care Units (Masvingo and Mashonaland West did not report today). Active cases go up to 4 311. The total number of recoveries went up to 37 288 increasing by 189 recoveries. The recovery rate goes down further, marginally, from 87% to 86%. A total of 8 898 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 715 056. A total of 11 573 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 451 793. The death toll goes up to 1 692 after 1 new death was recorded.
Critical emerging issues
Suspension of COVID-19 Welfare Fund
We note with alarm the announcement that Government has discontinued COVID-19 social protection package rollout, when in fact citizens have been demanding an increase in the disbursements. We highlight that this, as a position in principle, is untenable in the midst of the third wave and communities who have been struggling to get back on their feet, after largely unsupported livelihood support to the predominately informal economy operators. We highlight the extreme negative social economic implications of communities in localised lockdowns and in Hotspots who have had to deal with a myriad of challenges in addressing lives and livelihoods in the third wave whilst the nominally ameliorative program is being shut down.
We continue to decry the lack of transparency and openness regarding this Fund. We decry, the fact that to date the Fund failed to meet the target of 1 million people and only supported 300 000 households. Whilst we note the provision that the fund will indeed be considered for the informal sector should another lockdown be put in place,
- We decry the operational and administrative delays that will arise by shutting down the funds whilst the localised downs are in place wherein informal economic players are in need.
Accountability for Vaccine Procurement
Whilst we note the announcement by Government indicating that 500 00 thousand 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 commitments announced on several occasions last year 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)