545 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 24th of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 129 360 after 226 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 65 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 23 September 2021 was 119 hospitalised cases: 11 new admissions, 23 asymptomatic cases, 66 mild-to-moderate cases, 25 severe cases and 5 cases in Intensive Care Units.
Active cases went down to 2 763. The total number of recoveries went up to 121 995 increasing by 154 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94%. A total of 13 648 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 021 983. A total of 17 207 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 174 849. The death toll went up to 4 602 after 2 new deaths were recorded.
We continue to highlight non-adherence to safety protocols and COVID-19 guidelines, especially during weekends, characterized by an increase in social and economic activities. We draw attention to the real risk of increased cases of COVID-19 infections and the need to ensure that infection control is prioritised in all social and economic actions.
Critical Emerging Issue
Vaccine Shortages in Masvingo Province
We note the spike in cases in Masvingo Province driven by infections in schools and schooling communities. We note the implications of the lockdown in the communities and fully acknowledge the increased drive for the COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, we highlight the shortage of vaccines in the province as reported at Masvingo General Hospital, and Rujeko, Mucheke and Runyararo West community clinics. We note with concern the large numbers of community members who have been turned away due to shortages in these vaccination sites. We are concerned that these developments may destabilise the ability of the communities to positively respond to the outbreak and increase infection control mechanisms. Therefore, it is critical that vaccines are made widely accessible and available locally.
- We call for Government to increase supplies to COVID-19 school outbreak communities.
- We recommend for schools to be turned into vaccination sites to support expanded vaccination drive and protect measures.
Expansion of Vaccination Drive
We note the cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated has now surpassed 3 million mark, now standing at 3 008 335. While appreciating the increased uptake of vaccination by citizens, we draw attention to the severe limitation of the vaccination drive particularly in the face of increasing social and economic restrictions based on proof of vaccination. We continue to raise concerns that mining, agricultural and trading communities have limited access to vaccination. We highlight the expanded housing settlements and communities across the country which are underserviced in terms of clinics and health centres. As a result, these communities do not have easily accessible points to get vaccinated. In order to ensure that no one is left behind in the vaccination drive,
- We continue to call for vaccination centres to be located at Agro centres, grain depots and collection points.
- We continue to call for mobile vaccination points at both food and non-food traders’ markets.
- We continue to call for vaccination points to be established in mining communities, rural resettlement and new housing development communities.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe