574 days of the COVID-19 lockdown, and as of 23rd of October 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 132 625 after 37 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Bulawayo and Masvingo with 8 cases. We note that the hopitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 22 October 2021 remained at 92 hospitalised cases: 9 New Admissions, 9 Asymptomatic cases, 69 mild-to-moderate cases, 11 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go down to 837. The total number of recoveries went up to 127 120 increasing by 152 recoveries. The recovery rate goes slightly down to 95%. A total of 5 108 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 263 783. A total of 6 978 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 534 909. The death toll remained at 4 668, as there were 5 new deaths recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Increased social activities and non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures
Our networks continue to report increased social activities within communities, drinking spots and businesses on Fridays and well into the weekend. The reports also reveal non adherence to safety measures such as physical distancing, sanitization of workplaces and regular temperature checks. Our networks have also raised concern over some commuter operators plying long distance routes failing to maintain public health safety protocols such as physical distancing, and sanitization. This raises concern as such slackening may affect the system’s ability to detect potential COVID-19 cases amongst the commuting public, thus exposing the public to infection. We worry that such conduct may lead the nation into another spike of COVID-19 cases.
- We urge citizens to observe public health guidelines as they meet and interact in public places such as drinking spots and beerhalls.
- We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport system.
- We urge enforcement agents to ensure that physical distancing is upheld by public transport operators.
- We urge businesses to continuously fumigate premises and workplaces for the safety of workers and patrons.
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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe