551 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 30th of September 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 130 820 after 335 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Matebeleland South with 214 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 29 September 2021 was 98 hospitalised cases: 11 New Admissions, 27 Asymptomatic cases, 50 mild-to-moderate cases, 17 severe cases and 4 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went up to 3 181. The total number of recoveries went up to 123 016 increasing by 257 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 94%. A total of 12 121 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 084 154. A total of 23 134 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 271 135. The death toll went up to 4 623 after 7 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Recognition of the Progress in the Zimbabwe Vaccination Program
We commend the continued efforts currently being undertaken by WHO towards extensive monitoring and support to African countries in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we note the update from the WHO indicating that 15 African countries (representing nearly a third of the 54 African countries) have fully vaccinated at least 10% of their populations. We note the recognition of countries that have made efforts to meet the targets and, or, are on track to meet the target for ensuring that 40% of their populations are vaccinated by the end of the year. We however raise issue with the lack of recognition of the sterling efforts being made by Zimbabwe to meet the target and as such currently being a leader in the SADC region in terms of vaccine rollout. We note that Zimbabwe is on its way to meet 20% vaccination target by the end of the October 2021, at a time when most counties in the global south are struggling to meet the 10% threshold. Therefore, we are concerned by Zimbabwe’s exclusion from the list of recognition of the countries who are meeting targets and rapidly moving at ensuring that their populations are fully vaccinated
- We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to address this anomaly in the regional and international arena.
- We call upon further engagement with the WHO and the Government of the Zimbabwe to equitably profile and recognise the progress and mechanisms undertaken by Zimbabwe in the vaccination rollout and approach.
Listing of Zimbabwe on UK Red List
We note the continued listing of Zimbabwe on the Red List of the UK which imposes notable restrictions on the potential of visitors from the UK travelling to the Zimbabwe and those in Zimbabwe travelling to the UK. We note particularly the discriminatory requirements that persons must have been vaccinated with either the Moderna or the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Pfizer/BioNTech or the single dose Janssen vaccines. We strongly object to the inequity in the recognition of vaccines that have been approved by the WHO and which are part of the vaccine mix of countries in the global south, manufactured by China. We note that this entails that Zimbabwe-vaccinated persons may not enter the UK as their vaccines are not recognised despite the very difficult and complex issues pertaining to equitable vaccination access for Africa and the global south.
Furthermore, we highlight the high rate of vaccination of the Zimbabwean population at 15.4% which was 1% ahead that of South Africa standing at 14.5% as at the 28th of September 2021. We highlight further the significant drop in infections and hospitalisations from the period of the delta driven surge in 2021.We note further, that over the past 7 days, the Zimbabwe infection rate is now under 10% of the July 2021 peak comparable to the South Africa infection rate. We therefore continue to critique the vaccine inequity impacting negatively and unduly on Africa and those in the global south.
- We call for the Government to engage the through diplomatic channels, the Government of the United Kingdom on ensuring delisting of Zimbabwe from the Red list.
- We call for full world-wide recognition of WHO approved vaccines in usage in Africa including those manufactured in India Russia and China
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe