570 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 19th of October 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 132 437 after 32 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mash West with 10 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 18 October 2021 remained at 122 hospitalised cases: 6 New Admissions, 18 Asymptomatic cases, 83 mild-to-moderate cases, 16 severe cases and 5 cases in Intensive Care Units.
Active cases went down to 1 157. The total number of recoveries went up to 126 621 increasing by 134 recoveries. The recovery rate made a steady rise to 96%. A total of 6 083 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 234 589. A total of 7 676 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 493 994. The death toll remained at 4 659, as there were no new deaths recorded.
We note Cabinet’s announcement that to date, the administration of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has recorded 37.9% national coverage, while the second dose has received 29.1%. While the statistics seem to be pointing to the right direction, we reiterate our recommendation for the rolling out of mobile vaccine centres to ensure wide speedy reach and to provide direct support to communities.
Critical Emerging Issue
We note that currently, Zimbabwe has a record of 1 157 active COVID-19 cases, of which only 122 are hospitalised. As such, we note that communities have a greater burden of care in responding to COVID-19 patients. In the context of the community-managed COVID-19 patients, we continue to emphasize that Zimbabwe’s health response is being led by households providing home based care.
We are further appreciative of the fact that a huge part of this burden falls on women and girls, as caregivers in the household settings. We therefore amplify our concerns on home-based care and lack of the support systems to assist such households.
- We urge Government to introduce and implement measures to support home-based care givers and primary care-givers in order to ease their burden and to minimize further risk of transmission.
- We continue to call for the expansion of support services offered by social welfare officers in communities directly
- We continue to call for direct national budget resourcing of social services directly to reduce the burden of care work on women social areas.
Drop in adherence to mandatory mask wearing
We continue to draw attention to the significant drop in communities’ adherence to masking up. We note that communities continue to demonstrate laxity in adherence to the mandatory mask wearing public health guidelines right across the country, especially in supermarkets, informal markets and agricultural centres, as reported by our membership as a result of a snap survey. We raise concern with infection control issues within the informal sector which represents 80% of Zimbabwe economic activities, which are largely characterised by high levels of congestion and density of persons.
- We caution against complacency and urge citizens to remain vigilant by strictly observing safety protocols and public health guidelines.
- We continue to call for adherence to physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks by businesses both formal and informal.
- We urge businesses to ensure safety of workers by observing safety protocols such as work station sanitisation, temperature checks and regular fumigation of work-spaces.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe