Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 473 – WCoZ Situation Report

473 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 14th of July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 76 381 after 3 110 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West at 437 cases. The hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province- Kariba (15), Hurungwe (111), Chegutu (137), Sanyati (70). Mashonaland Central –Mazowe (43), Centenary (137). Mashonaland East-Marondera (86), Goromonzi (66). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (58), Chivi (46). Midlands Province – Kwekwe (49). Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (69), Emakhandeni (112) and Northern Suburbs (177), Harare Province (468).

We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 13th of the July 2021 was 883 hospitalised cases: 114 New Admissions, 261 Asymptomatic cases, 516 mild-to-moderate cases, 66 severe cases and 40 cases in Intensive Care Units.

Active cases went up to 24 996. The total number of recoveries went up to 49 053 increasing by 951 recoveries. The recovery rate went down further by a slight margin, to 64% from 66%. A total of 33 090 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 988 746. A total of 5 011 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 624 894. The death toll went up to 2 332 after 58 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issues

Vaccination Cards on Sale

With great distress, we raise alarm on the growing community reports indicating the rise of the sale of vaccination cards to unvaccinated persons. We note with concern, the rise in demand of cards which is being fuelled by chaos at vaccine centres. We note the connection between demand for vaccination and the increasing demand for proof of vaccination, as a means to access various social and economic activities including jobs. We are concerned at the sale of vaccination cards as this will undermine critical public health targets.

  • We urge the strengthening of internal control systems at vaccination centres. 
  • We recommend separate issuance points for vaccination cards to vaccinated persons who may have failed to access cards at their vaccination dates.
  • We call for a toll-free anonymous reporting system for vaccine centres offering sale of vaccination cards 

Outstanding 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

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)