455 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 26th of June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 46 018 after 801 new cases were reported, all local. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West with 411cases. Localised lockdown updates are as follows today Kariba (32), Karoi (45), Kwekwe (10) and Chinhoyi (28). The hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province-Doro (20) Nyangoma (23), Chidamoyo (36), Masvingo Province-Chiredzi (13). In Bulawayo Province-Nkulumane (10), Emakhandeni (18) and Northern Suburbs (32). We continue to note the lack of update for Mash Central.
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 25th of June 2021 was 355 hospitalised cases: 35 New Admissions, 117 Asymptomatic cases, 201 mild to moderate cases, 30 severe cases and 7 cases in Intensive Care Units. We commend the full reporting from all health centres. Active cases went up to 6 532. The total number of recoveries went up to 37 761 increasing by 157 recoveries. The recovery rate went down further, marginally, from 83% to 82%. A total of 9 847 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 747330. A total of 17744 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 502 178. The death toll went up to 1 725 after 4 new deaths were recorded.
Critical emerging issues
Demolitions during COVID-19 Pandemic
We highlight the on-going demolitions of over 1000 properties within Harare, Chitungwiza, Marondera communities targeting both housing and informal business communities. We condemn the widespread demolitions being undertaken by various local authorities. We note that this unfortunate process is taking place in the middle of winter, whilst the Government is purportedly seeking to protect and promote the lives and livelihoods of a population that has been battered by the COVID-19.
We highlight the negative socio-economic implications of such demolitions on affected households and communities, particularly during COVID-19. We highlight the World Bank report that indicates that 49% of Zimbabweans have been plunged into poverty by the pandemic and as such the demolitions appear disconnected to the realities of the struggling communities and households who are already facing unprecedented COVID-19-induced socio-economic pressures.
Whilst we are fully cognisant of the need to regularise and ensure that housing settlements and business structures are in full compliance with the law, environmental protection guidelines and urban development standards, we question the administrative and operational mechanisms that support such actions during a pandemic.
- We call for the rapid provision of housing to the affected communities in particular those who are left out in the open post the demolitions
- We call for the urgent provision of social welfare support to affected communities
- We call for the re-opening of the COVID-19 welfare fund to specifically address communities in distress as part of the expenditure of the USD100 million surplus.
Spotlight on Mashonaland West Province
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 not necessarily easy to access. We commend the positive health seeking behaviours being demonstrated actively by communities and citizens in Mashonaland West.
- We call for the provision of mass testing in communities to support the actual number of traced persons
- We call for the 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 increased disease prevalence in the province
- We call for the provision of social protection packages to communities as lead by social welfare officers to households under distress.
- We call for the increased distribution of PPEs and sanitizers to communities and families beyond the isolation or quarantine points.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)