Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 543 – WCoZ Situation Report

543 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 128 804 after 340 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 89 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 21st September 2021 was 130 hospitalised cases: 20 new admissions, 28 asymptomatic cases, 73 mild-to-moderate cases, 26 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. 

Active cases went up to 2 559. The total number of recoveries went up to 121 653 increasing by 213 recoveries. The recovery rate stands at 94%. A total of 15 836 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 992 348. A total of 23 655 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 130 553. The death toll went up to 4 592 after 16 new deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue

Vigilance and safety protocols in public spaces

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 citizens in public spaces. We have noted the increased non-adherence to COVID-19 in public spaces such as supermarkets, public transport and banking queues. As such we raise concern that such careless behavioural attitude by citizens may trigger a potential fourth wave, especially in light of the relaxation of the lockdown, therefore concerned with infection control and safety protocols for learners.

  • We therefore urge constant robust campaign and awareness-raising on COVID-19 and vaccines.
  • We continue to urge businesses to strictly observe safety protocols such as fumigation of work spaces, provision of PPE to workers and constant temperature checks.
  • We amplify our calls for an inclusive vaccine roll-out which ensures vaccine equity and equality amongst urban and rural populace.

Outstanding issues 

Shortages of 2nd Dose of COVAXIN 

We continue to highlight reports indicating shortages of the second doses of 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. Furthermore, we highlight the lack of information surrounding this issue as citizens report being sent pillar-to-post with inadequate information, confusing vaccination advice and ultimately are being left out in the cold. As such, we are persistently alarmed at the zero to limited efforts being made to inform, communicate and advise this group of citizens.  We note that of the 75 000 pledged doses of COVAXIN, reports show that 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. 

  • We urge Government not to ignore this crisis and issue a public position directly addressing the plight of COVAXIN patients.
  • We call for 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, which is unable to cope with the reality of the Zimbabwe’s response to the pandemic on the ground.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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