504 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 14th of August 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 119 853 after 345 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 68 cases. We note the general nature of the hotspot update which did not give hotspot specific data but reported on the general downward trend of new infections due to containment measures. We note that the hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 13 August 2021 was 547 hospitalised cases: 40 new admissions, 139 asymptomatic cases, 291 mild-to-moderate cases, 88 severe cases and 29 cases in Intensive Care Units. (Wilkins, Providence, Arundel, BS Leon, West End, St Anne’s and Montague did not report).
Active cases went down to 19 047. The total number of recoveries went up to 96 716, increasing by 581 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 80%. A total of 22 959 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 036 299. A total of 18 694 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 198 381. The death toll went up to 4 090 after 17 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issues
Non-adherence to social distancing and other public health guidelines
Noting growing patterns on non-compliance with public health and safety protocols such as social distancing and sanitisation. This has been recorded nationwide, including service providers such as the ZUPCO buses, food outlets particularly and other businesses, where there appears to be a relaxation regarding constant disinfection of workspaces.
- We therefore remind businesses, service providers and the general populace that wearing masks alone is not the panacea to curbing the spread of the pandemic. This measure should be supported with actions such as social and physical distancing, disinfecting work spaces and use of hand sanitizers.
- In the same breath, we urge Government, Civil Society organisations and stakeholders to raise awareness on the WHO updated guidelines for proper use of masks.
Gender lens National COVID-19 response and recovery
We continue to urge gender equality and women’s representation in COVID-19 response structures. We emphasize that the impacts of COVID-19 have been neither gender blind nor gender-neutral and that women have taken the hardest hit. Therefore, they should be allowed the space to be architects of their own solutions. We stress that women’s leadership, experiences and perspective are fundamental to the development of a gender-lens response and recovery. Participation and equal representation of women, as provided in Zimbabwe’s policy and legislative framework cannot be dispensed within the COVID-19 recovery path. Not only is this important for the achievement of gender equality and democracy, but gender machineries and women’s organizations also work closely with communities and therefore possess unapparelled knowledge and experience on the challenges, women are facing on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, they constitute the voice of authority when it comes to the design and implementation of gender lens recovery strategies. We therefore recommend:
- As a starting point, more women including women’s rights organisations should form part of the steering committees for COVID-19 response coordination, such as the COVID-19 National Taskforce.
- The Zimbabwe Gender Commission, to push for accountability to equal gender representation and balance in such key Committees, as envisaged by sections 17 and 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
- Urgent publication of analysed sex and age disaggregated data by Government on the composition of the COVID-19 taskforce teams throughout the country.
- We continue to call for the inclusion of Gender Advisory Experts at all levels of the National COVID-19 Response Structures.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe