Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 525 – WCoZ Situation Report

525 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 4th of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 125 425 after 94 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 19 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 3 September 2021 was 246 hospitalised cases: 18 new admissions, 46 asymptomatic cases, 125 mild-to-moderate cases, 59 severe cases and 16 cases in Intensive Care Units. 

Active cases went down to 5 870. The total number of recoveries went up to 115 089 increasing by 450 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 91%. A total of 16 675 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 698 632. A total of 11 355 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 700 993. The death toll went up to 4 466 after 9 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue 

Shortages of 2nd Dose of COVAXIN 

We highlight reports of shortages of second doses of the COVAXIN to citizens who were vaccinated in May 2021. We highlight the undue stress, trauma, complete lack of support being experienced by this group of persons. We amplify the traumatising experiences that citizens are reporting of being sent pillar-to-post with inadequate information, confusing vaccination advice and ultimately being left out in the cold.  We are persistently alarmed at the zero to limited efforts being made to inform communicate and advise this group of citizens. We continue to stress that these are not the outcomes of the vaccination programme.

We note that of the 75 000 pledged doses only 35 000 doses have been received thus far from the Government of India. The shortfall of 40 000 doses, five months later is a stain on the vaccination program however the lack of responsiveness by Government is an unnecessary self-inflicted blight on Government’s efforts.

  • We call for an immediate support program to COVAXIN first dose recipients. 
  • We urge an acknowledgment of the presence of these citizens who are in this group of persons. 
  • We recommend immediate release of medical advice to support citizens in having a substantive roadmap to securing their vaccination status, especially in the midst of blanket vaccination mandate. Particularly so, given the fact that the blanket vaccination mandate is unable to cope with the reality of the Zimbabwe’s response to the pandemic on the ground. 

Outstanding Issue 

Rise of Vaccination Cards Black Market

We highlight with concern the blanket mandatory vaccination orders being enforced in the public and private sector and being driven by limited access to an increasing number of socio-economic activities and spaces. We are concerned by the mandatory vaccination orders which are not supported by an expanded and responsive vaccination program. We applaud the efforts of various societies in engaging with the public and undertaking significant public health awareness initiatives on the importance of vaccination. However, we note with concern that awareness alone will not deliver jabs in arms. 

We are concerned regarding increased reports of individuals who are opting into the black market to secure vaccination cards as proof of vaccines without getting vaccinated. We note with concern that the increased pressure being created by the resumption of schools means that instances of trading in vaccination cards without vaccination are on the rise driven by sector mandates and schools’ mandates for both learners and teachers requiring fully vaccinated communities which is driving the demand for vaccination. 

We highlight reports indicating that the costs of the vaccine cards are cheaper than the USD$30 to USD$60 PCR tests as they are reportedly being sold for between USD$15 to USD$20. 

  • We continue to call for an expansion for the vaccination program with support to resettlement communities, agricultural services centres, grain depots and collection points, we call for mobile centres in mining communities and in new housing settlements.
  • We call a revision of information strategies in addressing those with concerns regarding getting vaccinated. We call for the provision of vaccines to those in schools and education centres without mandates barring their entry. 

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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