546 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 25th of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 129 505 after 145 new cases, all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Matebeleland North with 56 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 24 September 2021 was 79 hospitalised cases: 10 new admissions, 18 asymptomatic cases, 53 mild-to-moderate cases, 4 severe cases and 4 cases in Intensive Care Units.
Active cases went up to 2 774. The total number of recoveries went up to 121 128 increasing by 133 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94%. A total of 8 449 people received their 1st dose of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 030 432. A total of 12 860 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 187 709. The death toll went up to 4 603 after 1 new death was recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Stigma and discrimination
Reports from our networks continue to highlight an increase in social stigma and discriminatory behaviours against people diagnosed with COVID-19 and those perceived to have been in contact with the virus, including health care personnel. We raise concerns as such stigma may undermine social cohesion and drive people to hide the illness in order to avoid discrimination. This may result in the disease likely spreading as people fail to seek immediate medical attention.
- We therefore recommend that stakeholders, community leaders and Government, intensify efforts in meaningfully engaging at the community level, with citizens, including people who have recovered from COVID-19, with their consent, to lead in increasing awareness and reducing stigma and discrimination.
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.
We note 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 note with concern the grave implications for community members as sores of citizens are part of the outbreaks communities directly implicated in present outbreaks. This is destabilising the ability of the community to positively respond to the outbreak and increase infection control mechanisms. We highlight that these communities are also already under travel restrictions and therefore cannot go elsewhere to secure the vaccines. It becomes critical that the vaccine are available locally.
- We call for Government to increase supplies to COVID-19 school outbreak communities.
- We call for schools to be turned into vaccination sites to support expanded vaccination drive and protect measures.
- We continue to call for government to effect policies without placing adequate measures to support those limitations.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe