498 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 8th of August 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 116 327 after 437 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 172 cases. The hotspots updates are as follows: Mashonaland West Province – Hurungwe (9), Kariba (1), Makonde (4), Mashonaland Central – Centenary (2), Mazowe (5). Mashonaland East – Marondera (8), Mutoko (8). Masvingo Province – Chiredzi (4), Masvingo (20), Midlands Province – Kwekwe (4).
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 7 August 2021 was 465 hospitalised cases: 51 new admissions, 57 asymptomatic cases, 329 mild-to-moderate cases, 67 severe cases and 12 cases in Intensive Care Units. (St Anne’s, Arundel, Wilkins, Q Mary, Kariba, St Michaels, Masvingo and Montague did not report today).
Active cases went down to 23 598. The total number of recoveries went up to 88 829 increasing by 1 413 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up marginally to 76% from 75%. A total of 12 797 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 1 864 204. A total of 20 357 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 022 618. The death toll went up to 3 900 after 74 new deaths were recorded.
We note the extension of lockdown level 4 by another 2 weeks. While commending this move as necessary for infection control, we bring to the fore the adverse impacts of the lockdown on vulnerable households, especially women-led households. We urge Government to meaningfully implement social protection measures to relieve households from the socio-economic and livelihood shocks imposed by COVID-19.
Critical Emerging Issues
Support to Vaccinated Persons Reporting Difficulties with Adverse Effects
We note with concern the poor levels of support of vaccinated persons reporting reactions to the vaccines that are difficult to understand and to cope with. We are concerned by the lack of support and as such, substantively question the ability of the Government to track and monitor persons who have been vaccinated going through adverse effects. We are even more concerned by growing community reports that indicate that even when persons arrive at the second jab and report the side effects, the health care personnel do not respond or engage the vaccine candidate on this matter, leaving patients out in the cold.
We are concerned about the reports of the side effects as some of them are very severe and have significant negative health effects that are going unaddressed and unsupported.
- We call for accessible support by citizens who have side effects at the actual vaccine centres.
- We urge a change in protocols for administration of the second jab to persons reporting significant adverse effects for the vaccine.
- We reiterate our calls for publication of treatment and management protocols for to be expected side effects.
Inconsistencies and Shortages of Vaccines
We continue to raise concern at the inconsistencies of vaccines and shortages of vaccines at various vaccination centres. We are greatly concerned at continued reports of shortages of vaccines on the ground whilst deliveries of vaccines at national have been recorded. We remind the government that the nation is still not meeting the (50 000) fifty thousand vaccination per day target of the national vaccine program. We note the vaccination programme is still under the vaccination blitz period and limited jabs are being administered on a daily basis. We are concerned about growing community reports indicating inconsistencies in vaccine supplies. Therefore, such inconsistencies are particularly undermining public efforts to secure vaccines as the number of persons vaccinated daily is shifting, thereby completely eroding the booking systems at individual vaccination centres. As such, we continue to warn against ineffectiveness and inefficiencies in the vaccination programme
- We urge Government to address logistical and distribution problems in the vaccination program.
- We call for main / large scale vaccination centres to hold adequate supplies of vaccines for consistencies in numbers of persons processed per day.
- We recommend rapid deliveries supported by public announcement at community and rural health-care centres to ensure that numbers of vaccines available match numbers of persons being attended to at vaccination centres.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)