480 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 91 120 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 (58), Kariba (9) Chegutu (77), Mashonaland Central – Bindura (48), Centenary (35). Mashonaland East-Mutoko (60), Goromonzi (55). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (17), Mwenezi (42). Midlands Province – Kwekwe (37). Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (33), Emakhandeni (54) and Northern Suburbs (69), Harare Province (689).
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 20th of the July 2021 was 737 hospitalised cases: 85 New Admissions, 235 Asymptomatic cases, 412 mild-to-moderate cases, 67 severe cases and 23 cases in Intensive Care Units.
Active cases went up to 28 684. The total number of recoveries went up to 59 627 increasing by 1 472 recoveries.
The recovery rate goes remains at 66%. A total of 45 148 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 1 292 642. A total of 6 987 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 656 830. The death toll went up to 2 809 after 62 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issues
Lack of PPE at Vaccine Centres
We are alarmed by the lack of adequate PPE for frontline workers at vaccine centres who are administering the vaccines to very high numbers of people. We also note that frontline workers are attending to persons who have no evidence of their COVID-19 status at the time they present themselves for vaccination. We further draw attention to the inconsistency in masks worn by frontline workers. We are concerned by frontline workers who at times, have been observed without masks.
We are further concerned by the thin plastic aprons worn by frontline workers, with no other comprehensive PPE, as they attend to large numbers of people during a third wave with a highly transmissible virus. In some distressing instances, our networks report inconsistencies in the wearing of gloves by frontline workers. In summary, we are concerned for the frontline health workers themselves who are clearly at very high risk of exposure.
- We therefore reiterate the prioritisation of the safety of frontline workers, in particular staffers at vaccine centres who have a direct impact on infection control.
- We urge provision of adequate PPE to frontline workers serving to all vaccine centres.
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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)