Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 463 – WCoZ Situation Report

463 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 4th of July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 54 474 after 809 new cases were reported, all local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West 348 cases. The following hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province- Kariba (30), Karoi (36), Nyamunga (11), Chinhoyi (17), we note the absence of updates from Kasimure, and Chidamoyo. Mashonaland Central – Centenary (20) we note the absence of updates from Guruve, Mt Darwin, Mazowe and Bindura. Mashonaland East-Marondera (84), Mutoko (14), we note the absence of updates from Murehwa. Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (22), Gutu (22) we note the absence of an update from Masvingo, Zaka, Bikita, Masvingo and Mwenezi, Midlands – Kwekwe (5), we note the absence of an update on Gweru and Zvishavane. Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (5), Emakhandeni (18) and Northern Suburbs (18), Harare 56.

We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 3rd  of the July 2021 were 356 hospitalised cases: 40 New Admissions, 36 Asymptomatic cases, 292 mild to moderate cases, 56 severe cases and 13 cases in Intensive Care Units. We note that Bulawayo, Mashonaland Central, Masvingo, Matebeleland South, Midlands did not report today. 

Active cases go up to 12 357. The total number of recoveries went up to 40 239 increasing by 447 recoveries. The recovery rate holds at 75%. A total of 1 176 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 793 077.  A total of 447 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 568 133. The death toll goes up to 1 878 after 19 new deaths were recorded.

We note with concern the very low numbers of vaccinated persons recorded. We are fully aware the at measures to upscale vaccination are underway however in light of current enforcement measures turning people away from critical access points for socio economic activities it is critical to ensure the vaccination centres are fully operational expanded and efficient.

We continue to call for the resuscitation of the National COVID-19 hotline to assist communities with clearing suspected cases. We call for strengthening of support to the hotline and hotline response mechanisms to provide real time support to communities and households in crisis.

Critical emerging issues

Travelling and Quarantine of returning citizens

We note the policy position regarding the mandatory quarantining of deported citizens. We continue to call for Government to fully expand this provision by announcing whether Quarantine centres for returnees are being fully restored and further the commitment of Treasury to support these centres especially in cases where persons returning as deportees are financially indigent and have limited social support.

Whilst we note that the COVID-19 measures make direct reference to the quarantining of citizens from countries registering the Alpha (first identified in the UK) and Delta (first identified in India) COVID-19 variants;

  • We reiterate our calls upon Government, for the avoidance of doubt, to openly list countries with the above variants for Zimbabwe specifically and directly.

We further note the financial burden on Travellers from countries with the Alpha and Delta variants who will be subject to 4 tests on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th day of quarantine.

  • We continue to call for the announcement of the system to ensure that self-quarantined travellers are indeed monitored and regularly checked so as to avoid abuse of the system or loopholes which may reduce the efforts to ensure effective infection control.
  • We note the reiteration that traveling with a fake COVID-19 certificate attracts a custodial sentence and as such we call for strengthened measures to ensure detention centres and holding cells are supported to readiness to address the infection control of COVID-19 in this controlled population.

Outstanding issues

Spotlight on Bulawayo Hospitalisation Rates

We highlight reports regarding the dire situation arising in Bulawayo, the second largest metropolitan province and city in Zimbabwe. We highlight reports indicating that Bulawayo is presently experiencing a shortage of space in wards designated for Covid-19 as hospitalisation rates soar.

We highlight reports indicating that the designated isolation centre for Bulawayo, Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital is presently no longer admitting patients as they are full and the current host of patients are sharing oxygen points. We highlight the reports indicating that as of last Friday, Thorngrove Hospital had 34 patients admitted to the hospital’s isolation wing against a bed capacity of 28.

We highlight the reportedly same scenario at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where as of last Friday, 40 patients under care, whereas the facility holds a 42-bed capacity.

We highlight furthermore the 32-bed capacity for COVID-19 at Mpilo Central Hospital, had already admitted 14 patients as of last Friday leaving only 18 beds available in a rapidly escalating situation.

We highlight additionally, the conditions at Elangeni Isolation Centre which provides care to those not requiring hospitalisation with a bed capacity of 70 and having reportedly admitted 34 patients admitted as of last Friday.

We highlight further Mater Dei hospital, another health institution with a 35-bed capacity, which had reportedly admitted 9 people of last Friday despite its extremely prohibitive health fees. We therefore call for the strengthening of response and readiness in health institutions.

  • We call Government to ensure rapid anticipatory distribution of the COVID-19 medical stock and supplies to all provinces.
  • We urge the government to rapidly expand the oxygen availability and oxygen capacity for hospitals.
  • We amplify our calls to rapidly expand quality of care services such as laundry capacity at hospitals. 
  • We urge Government to increase and improve the nurse-to-patient ratio.
  • We urge Government to engage progressively through existing legislated dialogue platforms to positively and sustainably address the long-standing grievances in the health and education sectors.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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