Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 513 – WCoZ Situation Report

513 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 23rd of August 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 123 001 after 349 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 61 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 at 15:00hrs on 22 August 2021 was 358 hospitalised cases: 19 new admissions, 97 asymptomatic cases, 206 mild-to-moderate cases, 36 severe cases and 19 cases in Intensive Care Units. (Providence, Avenues Clinic, Wilkins, BS Leon, St Anne’s, did not report). Active cases went down to 10 949. The total number of recoveries went up to 107 759 increasing by 949 recoveries. The recovery rate further goes up marginally, to 88% from 87%. A total of 32 926 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 345 343. A total of 22 886 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 483 048. The death toll went up to 4 293 after 44 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issues 

Opening of schools

We note the imminent phased resumption of the education sector. We note the engagements and processes to support the resumption of the education sector. 

  • We continue to emphasise the need to prioritise the safety of learners together with their teachers and supporting staff within the education sector. 
  • We urge that support measures schools be expedited with notable priority support to schools in rural communities with significant water and sanitation limitations. 
  • We continue to call for the enhancing of COVID-19 preventative measures for vulnerable pupils in preparedness for the resumption of schools, to be substantive and tangible.

Outstanding issues

Implications of COVID-19 Mass trauma on Patients, Communities and Healthcare Workers 

We highlight that in the treatment and management of COVID -19 Government is called upon to strengthen the training of healthcare personnel to ensure the increased quality of care for patients in hospitals for COVID-19. We highlight emerging research indicating that COVID-19 can be understood as a traumatic stressor event capable of eliciting PTSD-like responses and exacerbating other related mental health problems (e.g anxiety, depression, psychosocial functioning, etc). 

Fully cognisant that patients, communities, and frontline healthcare workers are all equitably negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and accordingly risks to both healthcare personnel and patients and their families arise, we raise with concern reports of neglect and poor care given to COVID-19 patients by healthcare workers increasing the distress and stress of patients and families. We call upon Government to urgently address quality of care and invest more in addressing chronic matters debilitating quality of healthcare in health centres.

We spotlight reports indicating healthcare workers are experiencing heightened levels of trauma because of COVID-19. We add to these experiences by highlight emerging research noting healthcare workers are experiencing mass trauma.

  • We call for acknowledgement of the presence of mass trauma in health care workers. We call for government introduce training and support services to frontline healthcare workers to ensure a strong and agile health sector. 

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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