Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 523 – WCoZ Situation Report

523 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 2nd of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 125 118 after 158 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 35 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 1 September 2021 was 134 hospitalised cases: 12 new admissions, 51 asymptomatic cases, 61 mild-to-moderate cases, 12 severe cases and 10 cases in Intensive Care Units. 

Active cases went down to 6 472. The total number of recoveries went up to 114 197 increasing by 670 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 91%. A total of 34 272 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 649 805. A total of 19 033 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 673 309. The death toll went up to 4 449 after 11 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue 

Drop in adherence to mandatory mask-wearing

We continue to draw attention to the significant drop in communities’ adherence to masking up, despite the increase in monetary fines for the offence. Communities continue to demonstrate laxity in adherence to the mandatory mask-wearing public health guidelines right across the country as reported by our membership as a result of a snap survey. Concerned for infection control within the informal sector which represents 80% of Zimbabwe economic activities which occur in workspaces are characterised by high levels of congestion and density of persons. 

  • We continue to remind and stress to both the public and policy makers that vaccination is not a substitute for infection control.
  • We continue to call for adherence to physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks by businesses both formal and informal. 

Outstanding Issue 

Social Protection mechanisms during COVID-19

We continue to note with concern the socio-economic impact of the 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 care-giving 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.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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