Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 520 – WCoZ Situation Report

520 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 30th of August 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 124 581 after 144 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 44 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 29 August 2021 was 256 hospitalised cases: 15 new admissions, 23 asymptomatic cases, 152 mild-to-moderate cases, 56 severe cases and 25 cases in Intensive Care Units. 

Active cases went down to 7 766. The total number of recoveries went up to 112 399 increasing by 865 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 90%. A total of 22 092 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 552 573. A total of 12 712 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 619 463. The death toll went up to 4 416 after 15 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue 

Implications of Intercity Travel 

We note the problems being raised by the opaque guidelines on resumption of inter-city and inter-provincial travel to support the resumption of the education sector. We note the erroneous public perception that inter-city and interprovincial travel has been fully resumed. 

We note further that this has been exacerbated by the inconsistencies in enforcement patterns by security officers. The requirement to have a bus passenger manifest with names of students and their respective schools listed is not well understood or consistently applied on the country highways. The resulting effect is of significant cause of concern. 

We note further the heavily congested buses and with several buses with standing passengers on inter provincial tips. We note the lack of mask wearing in the buses and the non-existent social distancing. 

We note further the limited to non-existent sanitisation especially when the buses are effecting the pick up of passengers in between the official start and stops of the buses. 

We raise grave concerns regarding the negative implications of infection control 

  • We call for stricter control on sanitisation and mask wearing on buses. 
  • We call for enforcement of social distancing on buses. 
  • We call mass publication of enforcement guidelines for inter provincial and inter-city travel.  

Outstanding Issue 

Inconsistencies and Shortages of Vaccines 

We 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 the national level have been recently recorded. We note with concern the slowing down of the vaccination programme at a time when the country is still in the vaccination blitz period and limited jabs are being administered. 

We are concerned about growing community reports indicating inconsistencies of vaccine supplies which may be undermining public efforts to secure vaccines. We note that the number of persons vaccinated daily is shifting on daily basis, thereby completely eroding the booking and tracking systems of individual vaccination centres. 

We therefore warn against such ineffectiveness and inefficiencies in the vaccination programme. 

  • We urge Government to address logistical and distribution problems pertaining to 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 call for rapid deliveries of vaccines to centres supported by public announcements at community and rural health-care centres to ensure that numbers of vaccines match numbers of persons being attended to at vaccination centres.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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