Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 468 – WCoZ Situation Report

468 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 9th of July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 65 066 after 2 683 new cases all local cases. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland East at 391 cases. The hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province- Kariba (15), Karoi (13), Chinhoyi (57) Magunje (14), Mashonaland Central – Centenary (25) and Bindura (53). Mashonaland East-Goromonzi (105), Marondera (98). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (90), Masvingo (45). Midlands Province – Kwekwe (46). Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (32), Emakhandeni (78) and Northern Suburbs (115), Harare Province (302).

We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 8th of the July 2021 was 666 hospitalised cases: 159 New Admissions, 179 Asymptomatic cases, 384 mild to moderate cases, 70 severe cases and 33 cases in Intensive Care Units.

Active cases went up to 18 961. The total number of recoveries went up to 44 021 increasing by 1 166 recoveries. The recovery rate goes down, further to 69% from 68%. A total of 26 374 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 875 182. A total of 4 063 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 588 883. The death toll went up to 2 084 after 55 new deaths were recorded.

We note with distress that 101 people have died over the past two days from COVID-19 in Zimbabwe and the number of deaths now past two thousand persons. We call for communities and policy makers to lead the way by increasing their contributions to towards infection control and supporting the treatment and management of COVID-19.

Critical emerging issues

Laxity in terms of night curfew

We are concerned by community reports that indicate laxity in both adherence to and enforcement of the night curfew. We are concerned by night revellers and those who are holding social gatherings at home and at community spaces, with yet others hosting those gatherings in clusters of parked vehicles at night without any constraints.

We are exceedingly concerned on the implications of infection control as social activities of this nature are potential super spreaders. We note that most of these individuals are usually engaged in eating and drinking in communal settings without social distancing, in close confines posing high risks of infection as masks are rarely worn.

  • We therefore reiterate the call for behavioural change and vigilance by communities and encourage the highest levels of personal responsibility to ensure reduced potential of exposure to infections.
  • We urge increased community policing in community spaces and residential centres as ad hoc recreational night spots are on the rise, undermining all public health efforts.

Outstanding issues

We highlight with concern the emergence of vaccine centres as potential super spreader points. We note with concern the extreme level of congestion and endless queues at vaccine centres, with the majority of queuing people disregarding social distancing as they jostle for the vaccine service.

We highlight with distress incidents of persons sleeping outside vaccine centres after days of queuing and failing to get into vaccine centres such as scenes reported in Bulawayo. We call for the authorities to address this chaos as the vaccine centres as the situation may result in vaccine centres unwittingly becoming super spreader points.

  • We call for urgent attention and support to be given to managing the queues at vaccine centres to ensure respect and compliance with physical distancing regulations.
  • We call for gender segregation of queues both inside and outside the vaccine centres. In the same respect, we urge separate queues for the frail, elderly and other vulnerable sections.
  • We recommend a pre-booking system to be implemented at all vaccine centres
  • We call for prioritisation on queues of those who already received their first vaccine shots
  • We amplify requests for the publication of a comprehensive national vaccine schedule with all venues, operating times, the vaccines available and number of persons to be served per day.
  • We urge support and training to all frontline responders regarding infection control at vaccine centres, in order to minimize their risk of exposure.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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