Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 534 – WCoZ Situation Report

534 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 13th of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 126 399 after 130 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mash East with 28 cases in each Province. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 12th September 2021 was 136 hospitalised cases: 5 new admissions, 24 asymptomatic cases, 85 mild-to-moderate cases, 25 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Units.

Active cases went down to 2 807. The total number of recoveries went up to 119 049 increasing by 257 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94%. A total of 11 807 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 836 955. A total of 31 644 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 1 894 780. The death toll went up to 4 543 after 5 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue

New COVID-19 lockdown guidelines and safety measures 

We note the following new measures announced by Government today:

  • Mandatory vaccination of civil servants, with those unvaccinated not allowed to come to work.
  • All gatherings not to exceed 100 persons.
  • Emphasis on church gatherings to be only attended by vaccinated congregants and that the number should be limited to 50% holding capacity.

Given the above developments therefore,

  • We raise concern over mandatory vaccination of civil servants, once again highlighting the “jabs for jobs for policy” which leaves citizens with little room to exercise their freedoms and fundamental rights.
  • Furthermore, we highlight the exclusionary aspects of this policy, which does not provide a clear position on lactating, nursing and or expecting civil servants, especially against the background of monitoring reports of women being refused vaccination due to their status as pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • We urge Government to reconsider this newly announced position by taking an inclusive approach, which considers the various needs and realities of the diverse civil service in Zimbabwe.

Outstanding issues 

Vigilance and safety protocols in schools

We continue to highlight monitoring reports nationwide indicating 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 amplify our calls for an inclusive vaccine roll-out which ensures vaccine equity and equality amongst urban and rural young populace.
  • We continue to 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.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe