573 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of October 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 132 588 after 48 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 11 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 21 October 2021 remained at 88 hospitalised cases: 2 New Admissions, 10 Asymptomatic cases, 56 mild-to-moderate cases, 19 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go down to 947. The total number of recoveries went up to 126 978 increasing by 202 recoveries. The recovery rate goes slightly down to 95%. A total of 7 209 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 258 675. A total of 10 298 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 527 931. The death toll remained at 4 663, as there was 1 new death recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Monitoring of Variants in Zimbabwe
We call for vigilance, in particular against the risks of a potential wave of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe which may be driven by variants of COVID-19 or the offshoots of the Delta variants, especially in the context of extremely relaxed lockdown measures and heightened socio-economic activities. We are concerned that despite the indication that the variant testing report due to be undertaken and made public two weeks ago remains outstanding. Accordingly, we continue to seek an update regarding the tracking and tracing of COVID-19 Variants of Concern in circulation in Zimbabwe. This update remains critical at this time to support the response mechanism of communities and the public to adherence to anti-COVID-19 measures. We note the concerns of communities to the potential presence of the variants which have been identified in South Africa and also the potential changes in the variants and mutations which were already circulating locally.
- We urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care to update on the current mutations and variants identified and in circulation in Zimbabwe
- We specifically call or for full reporting on Variants of Interest and Variants of Concern tracked and traced locally.
Slow Pace of Vaccination We highlight the continued slow pace of vaccination
We remain concerned that whist in comparison to others Zimbabwe vaccination is performing well, we continue to gauge against our own national standards as set in the National Vaccination Program which we continue to fail to meet. With the reduction to level 2 lockdown bringing increased socio economic activities, the low levels of vaccination still present a clear and present danger to the potential rise of the pandemic once more. We continue to urge support for increased vaccination uptake including expansion of vaccine mix, spread of vaccine centres to economic and social centres and a different messaging tools to ensure that those who seek vaccination are able to actually access vaccines.
- We call for the Government to support the storage facilities of vaccines in rural communities are marginalised communities in light of the slow vaccination drive
- We call for Government to shed light on public concerns on the expiry rate of vaccines to dispel fears in the public domain
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe