Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 481 – WCoZ Situation Report

481 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of July 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 59 872 after 2 301 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare 583 cases. The hotspots updates are as follows; Mashonaland West Province – Hurungwe (43), Kariba (14) Chegutu (68), Mashonaland Central – Bindura (44), Mt Darwin (32). Mashonaland East-Mutoko (65), Goromonzi (63). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (29), Masvingo (78). Midlands Province – Kwekwe (37). Bulawayo Province – Nkulumane (26), Emakhandeni (48) and Northern Suburbs (55), Harare Province (583).

We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on the 21st of the July 2021 was 882 hospitalised cases: 112 New Admissions, 255 Asymptomatic cases, 526 mild-to-moderate cases, 71 severe cases and 30 cases in Intensive Care Units.

Active cases went up to 28 828. The total number of recoveries went up to 59 872 increasing by 2 096 recoveries. The recovery rate goes remains at 66%. A total of 59 872 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 1 352 514. A total of 7 757 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 664 587. The death toll went up to 2 870 after 61 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issues

Improved Screening for COVID-19

We commend the high rate of testing for COVID-19 that has 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.

Outstanding 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.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

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