479 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 20th of July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 88 415 after 2 683 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West at 397 cases. The hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province – Hurungwe (104), Kariba (15) Makonde (79), Mashonaland Central – Bindura (55), Centenary (39). Mashonaland East-Seke (57), Goromonzi (62). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (121), Zaka (33). Midlands Province – Kwekwe (22). Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (37), Emakhandeni (84) and Northern Suburbs (141), Harare Province (373).
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 19th of the July 2021 was 811 hospitalised cases: 109 New Admissions, 259 Asymptomatic cases, 432 mild-to-moderate cases, 97 severe cases and 23 cases in Intensive Care Units.
Active cases went up to 27 513. The total number of recoveries went up to 58 155 increasing by 2 441 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up marginally from 65% to 66%. A total of 63 059 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 1 1247 494. A total of 6 640 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 649 843. The death toll went up to 2 747 after 50 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issues
Adherence and Enforcement of COVID-19 Control Measures
We note with concern the spike in cases of infection over the past three days. We remain distressed at the increase in cases despite several measures to encourage communities to support infection control measures. We are concerned at the limited social behavioural change in communities pertaining to critically unnecessary movements to preserve life. We continue to observe with distress, the high level of movements in communities and high-risk endeavours which may be spreading infection due to limited continued mask wearing and weak adherence to social distancing amongst a lowly vaccinated population.
We raise concern that all these patterns including the weak enforcement protocols on the ground are not going to support the reduced infection outcomes that are critically being targeted by lockdown regulations.
- We urge citizens to strongly make an effort to “Stay at Home” unless seeking to fulfil life preserving interventions.
- We call for communities to support each other in positive COVID-19 behavioural change and not seek to undermine efforts of those seeking to follow the guidelines.
- We call for communities to contact their nearest vaccination centres, get vaccinated and to still uphold the guidelines after vaccination.
- We call for enhanced levels of enforcement over this extended lockdown to protect our hospitals and save lives. We continue to remind enforcement officers to respect the rights of citizens as they execute their enforcement responsibilities.
Expansion of Vaccination Centres to Private Health Care Centres
We commend the extension of the vaccination program to private health institutions with a cap on administration fees. We commend this policy as it rapidly expands the vaccination centres in operation and the potential reach of the vaccination program.
- We call for vigilance in maintaining free access to vaccine for the public in order to avoid potential private sector monopoly.
- We call for private health institutions to roll out pre-booking systems to support vaccination roll out within their institutions
Measures to Contain COVID-19 in Public Service
We note with concern the directive to the Public Service Commission regarding the reduction of operational staff to 10% from 40% as a means to ensure infection control. We remain concerned at the prevalence rate of COVID-19 infections of Public Servants. We note with concern the operational constraints still in existence for the public service to operate digitally.
- We continue to call for retro fitting of public service offices and operational areas to ensure strong reforms to sustained change in operations.
- We urge the expedition of the provision of tools trade for public service and the accounting of the programs to digitize Government by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology.
- We continue to call for a Commission of inquiry on the management of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)