Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 521 – WCoZ Situation Report

521 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of  31st of August 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 124 773 after 192 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 36 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 30 August 2021 was 156 hospitalised cases: 20 new admissions, 21 asymptomatic cases, 86 mild-to-moderate cases, 21 severe cases and 28 cases in Intensive Care Units. 

Active cases went down to 7 297. The total number of recoveries went up to 113 057 increasing by 658 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up further marginally to 91% from 90%. A total of 30 132 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 582 705. A total of 17 035 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 636 498. The death toll went up to 4 419 after 3 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue 

Expansion of Vaccination Drive 

We continue to call attention to the severe limitation of the vaccination drive particularly in the face of increasing social and economic restrictions based on proof of vaccination. We continue to raise concerns that mining, agricultural and trading communities have limited access to vaccination. We continue to decry the fact that citizens must go and be vaccinated but we call instead for vaccines to go to the people. 

Whilst we commend the inclusion of volunteers in the vaccination centres they remain too limited to make a significant real-time impact on communities. We highlight the expanded housing settlements and communities’ across the country which are underserviced in terms of clinics and health centres. As a result these communities do not have easily accessible points to get vaccinated. We continue to point out that agricultural communities ought to have been supported by having grain siloes and commodity collection point have vaccination points at those agro-centres but they continue to be grossly underserviced. 

  • We continue to highlight artisanal miners and mining communities are that located in urban communities and in mining communities.
  • We continue to call for vaccination centres to be located at agro-centres, grain depots and collection points. 
  • We continue to call for mobile vaccination points at both food and non-food traders’ markets. 
  • We continue to call for vaccination points to be established in rural resettlement communities and in new housing development communities. 

Outstanding Issue 

Implications of Intercity travel 

We note the problems being raised by the opaque guidelines on the 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 interprovincial trips. 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. 

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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