Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 529 – WCoZ Situation Report

529 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 8th of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 125 931 after 135 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 32 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as of 15:00hrs on 7th September 2021 was 153 hospitalised cases: 10 new admissions, 29 asymptomatic cases, 73 mild-to-moderate cases, 48 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. 

Active cases went down to 3 592. The total number of recoveries went up to 117 822 increasing by 366 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 93%. A total of 31 422 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 782 143.  A total of 27 711 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 770 352. The death toll went up to 4 517 after 14 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue 

Vigilance and safety protocols in schools

Monitoring reports nationwide indicate a significant drop in adherence to masking up, and in some cases, improper use of masks by learners in schools. We are therefore concerned with infection control and safety protocols for learners. 

  • We urge a robust campaign and awareness-raising on vaccination eligibility of 14–17-year children. This should include adequate, accurate data on the anticipated side effects and other surrounding issues.
  • We call for an inclusive vaccine roll-out which ensures vaccine equity and equality amongst the urban and rural young populace.
  • We recommend refresher information dissemination on proper use and disposal of masks in schools.
  • We continue to call for adherence to physical distancing, wearing regular temperature checks in schools and in public transport utilised by learners and teaching staff.

Outstanding issue

Gender lens National COVID-19 response and recovery

We continue to urge gender equality and women’s representation in COVID-19 response structures. We emphasize that the impacts of COVID-19 have been neither gender blind nor gender-neutral and that women have taken the hardest hit. Therefore, they should be allowed the space to be architects of their own solutions. We stress that women’s leadership, experiences and perspective are fundamental to the development of a gender-lens response and recovery. Participation and equal representation of women, as provided in Zimbabwe’s policy and legislative framework cannot be dispensed within the COVID-19 recovery path. Not only is this important for the achievement of gender equality and democracy, but gender machineries and women’s organizations also work closely with communities and therefore possess unapparelled knowledge and experience on the challenges, women are facing on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, they constitute the voice of authority when it comes to the design and implementation of gender lens recovery strategies. Thus, we recommend:

  • As a starting point, more women including women’s rights organisations should form part of the steering committees for COVID-19 response Coordination, such as the COVID-19 National Taskforce.
  • The Zimbabwe Gender Commission, to push for accountability to equal gender representation and balance in such key Committees, as envisaged by sections 17 and 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
  • Urgent publication of analysed sex and age disaggregated data by Government on the composition of the COVID-19 taskforce teams throughout the country.
  • We continue to call for the inclusion of Gender Advisory Experts at all levels of the National COVID-19 Response Structures.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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