454 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 25th of June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 45 251 after 911 new cases were reported, all local. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West with 343 cases. Localised lockdown updates were recorded as follows Kariba (32), Karoi (51), Kwekwe (28) and Chinhoyi (28). The following hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province- Doro (16) Nyangoma (20), Chidamoyo (28), Masvingo Province- Chiredzi (41). In Bulawayo Province- Nkulumane (15), Emakhandeni (17) and Northern Suburbs (37).
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 24th of June 2021 was 314 hospitalised cases: 58 New Admissions, 69 Asymptomatic cases, 195 mild to moderate cases, 40 severe cases and 10 cases in Intensive Care Units. We commend the direct and specific inclusion of new admissions as part of the daily public report.
Active cases went up to 5 892. The total number of recoveries went up to 37 604 increasing by 80 recoveries. The recovery rate went down further, from 85% to 83%. A total of 11 901 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 737 483. A total of 16 701 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 484 483. The death toll went up to 1 721 after 12 new deaths were recorded.
We commend the steady increase of mass testing. We note with commendation the average daily increases in tests conducted and sustained over the past 7 days and urge officials to continue the testing and tracing program accordingly.
Critical emerging issues
Poor Communication on Bulawayo Localised Lockdown
We continue to raise concerns on the weak levels of information and communication dissemination on the regulations and implementation modalities of COVID-19 regulation to communities. We highlight the case of contradictory communication regards to Bulawayo Province which has several communities under localised lockdown. We raise particular discrepancies regarding the existence and implementation of a 6am to 6pm curfew. We note with concern the discrepancies arising between announcement by the Zimbabwe Republic Police who are enforcement agencies under COVID-19 Regulations and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare which is the lead policy maker in this regard. As such, we call for increased coordination within the National COVID-19 taskforce team members.
- We continue to call for clear and direct guidelines which are practicable to guide the communities towards complying with the public health measures necessary to increase infection control.
- We call for a communication approach to ensure the highest levels of cooperation by citizens to meet public health targets.
Spotlight on Mashonaland West
We highlight the case of Mashonaland West province which continues to record the highest cases despite being placed under localised lockdown.
We note the increased testing which is supported by testing, we remain aware the cases in the province represent the largest case load in the province since the inception of the pandemic in Zimbabwe in March 2020.
We commend communities in Mashonaland West in responding positively to the district taskforce team engagement and mobilisations on the ground. We especially commend communities who are coming forward to avail themselves for testing at health centres that are in hard-to-reach areas, hence difficult to access. However,
- We call for the provision of mass testing in all communities to support the actual number of traced persons.
- We urge increased deployment of social welfare officers to provide social and mental health support to families and communities who are shouldering increased mental and social stresses from the high disease prevalence in the province.
- We call for the provision of social protection packages to communities as led by social welfare officers to households under distress.
- We call for the increased State support and distribution of PPEs to communities and families beyond the isolation or quarantine points.
Fatality Rate in the Third Wave
We note the high Case Fatality Rate that has characterised the current wave of the cases. We accordingly commend the following measures; strengthening of critical care in admitting facilities (HDU/ICU); ensuring oxygen availability in admitting centres; ensuring availability of critical care equipment; and cascading critical care training;
- We continue to call for readiness to be expedited and for an increase in anticipatory operational readiness and not to be reactive based on international best practices and experience.
- We call for increased pace of training of health care workers in the treatment and management of COVID-19.
- We call for the increased provision of PPEs to health care workers and community taskforce teams
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)