522 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 1st of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 124 960 after 187 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 32 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 1500hrs on 31 August 2021 was 262 hospitalised cases: 18 new admissions, 65 asymptomatic cases, 129 mild-to-moderate cases, 44 severe cases and 24 cases in Intensive Care Units.
Active cases went down to 6 995. The total number of recoveries went up to 113 527 increasing by 470 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 91%. A total of 32 828 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 615 533. A total of 17 778 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 654 276. The death toll went up to 4 438 after 19 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Social Protection mechanisms during COVID-19
We continue to note with concern the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on lives and livelihoods.
We note that the 2021 Budget Performance overview as shared by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, through the Mid-Term Budget presentation to the Parliament of Zimbabwe indicated that Treasury is performing well and indeed there is already a USD50 million surplus on the books thus far. This statement supports indications by Treasury regarding the earmarking of expenditure for IMF Special Drawing Rights imminently due to Zimbabwe.
Consequently, we welcome the arising opportunities efforts to address the issue of addressing the devastation of livelihoods in Zimbabwe and strengthen social protection mechanisms.
Accordingly, we note with support the hearing on the Petition on Social Protection raised by the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe. We call for substantive and progressive responses from the executive on this matter
For the reasons above, among others, we continue to amplify our concern on the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, particularly that the majority of women in Zimbabwe and women-led households are facing the biggest impacts in food security, income loss, and caregiving burdens. We emphasize the need for prioritization of women’s access to social safety nets during COVID-19, taking due cognisance of the fact that a majority of women in the informal sector, such as the cross-border traders, have suffered severe loss of livelihoods.
- We continue to call for the resuscitation of the COVID-19 support scheme.
- We call for the adequate funding of National Social Protection Policy Framework.
- We therefore urge Government to expand social safety nets and offset economic impacts for COVID-19.
- We reinforce our calls for the provision of support for households who are no longer able to sustain themselves due to loss of livelihoods, especially women-led households.
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 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 points have vaccination points at those agro-centres, but they continue to be grossly underserviced.
- We continue to highlight the need to expand vaccination to artisanal miners and 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe