Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 472 – WCoZ Situation Report

472 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 13th of July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 73 271 after 2 845 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West at 496 cases. The hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province- Kariba (16), Hurungwe (160), Makonde (107, Mashonaland Central –Mazowe (58), Guruve (47). Mashonaland East-Murewa (59), Seke (59). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (117), Masvingo (54). Midlands Province – Kwekwe (23). Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (20), Emakhandeni (48) and Northern Suburbs (51), Harare Province (468).

We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 12th of the July 2021 was 470 hospitalised cases: 116 New Admissions, 112 Asymptomatic cases, 300 mild-to-moderate cases, 40 severe cases and 18 cases in Intensive Care Units.

Active cases went down to 22 895. The total number of recoveries went up to 48 102 increasing by 1 170 recoveries. The recovery rate went down further by a slight margin, to 66% from 67%. A total of 48 108 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 955 656. A total of 14 327 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 619 883. The death toll went up to 2 274 after 38 new deaths were recorded.

We urge communities to increase their vigilance in regards screening for COVID-19, we remind communities of the support available in phone number 2019 or the WhatsApp number.

We commend the reduction in fares for ZUPCO buses. We further commend the reintroduction of inter-city buses as mechanism to deliver reduced instances of congestion at transport nodes. We however continue to stress the importance of COVID-19 safety regulations adherence on ZUPCO buses. We continue to stress that the public transport system remains a key aspect of infection control of COVID-19 and thus its necessity to adhere to stringent measures to protect public health targets.

Critical emerging issues

Vaccine centre management

We note the announcement of Government at targeting 1 million vaccinated persons in 2 weeks. Whilst we commend such a target during the vaccination blitz, we continue to monitor and raise issues pertaining to the design and conditions of the blitz as experienced by communities. As such we remain concerned at congestion at Vaccine centres. We raise alarm at vaccine centres in Harare and Bulawayo that have recorded long queues with persons queuing for days to secure vaccinations. Whilst commending the noted deployment of enforcement officers to support queue management at vaccine centres, we continue to decry the chaos at queues.

We highlight with distress incidents of persons opting out of the queues of vaccination centres as the waiting periods are not commiserate with the service. This is high-risk early warning indicator of the potential to negatively affect the uptake of the vaccines as the wait is simply too stressful and too long for citizens.

  • We call for the increasing of vaccine points at vaccine centres to rapidly increase the number of persons served at vaccine centres daily.
  • 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 continue to 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

Outstanding issues

Improved screening for Covid-19

We commend the high rate of testing for COVID-19 that have been sustained in the past month of the crisis. We note the commitment to trace outbreaks and ensure greater numbers of communities’ access to testing services. We continue to draw attention to the continued need to improve screening services and enhance the deployment of testing capacity.

  • We urge the re-introduction of mobile screening on highways and main arterial roads across the country.
  • We consider such screening an integral part of proactive virus hunting and infection control.
  • We continue to request clear guidelines to be communicated to communities in regards to screening for COVID-19 to ensure that those communities that require investigation are front loaded into testing services and that COVID-19 testing is channelled where it is needed the most.
  • We reiterate our calls for the expansion of high risks persons to ensure that specific socio-economic activities that have a direct bearing on infection control are clearly identified and supported with both enhanced surveillance and expanded testing support.
  • We call for increased deployment of testing services at people’s markets and fresh produce markets.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)