575 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 24th of October 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 132 651 after 26 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 13 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 23 October 2021 remained at 79 hospitalised cases: 5 New Admissions, 3 Asymptomatic cases, 59 mild-to-moderate cases, 11 severe cases and 6 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases go down to 684. The total number of recoveries went up to 127 298 increasing by 178 recoveries. The recovery rate goes slightly down to 95%. A total of 4 872 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 268 655. A total of 4 615 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 539 524. The death toll remained at 4 669, as there was 1 new death recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Prioritising Women workers in the Healthcare Sector
We continue to note the challenges facing the health sector, particularly in regards to conditions of service for the health care sector workers. We note that whilst various measures have been undertaken to address on-going concerns, there is limited improvement in real terms for the conditions of critical essential service workers. We note further that as the leadership of the health sector is largely characterised by an over-representation of men, this continue to result in skewed support for the women in the sector who constitute the bulk of healthcare workers in positions of nursing and other low-ranking positions in the sector. Consequently, the limitations in provision of housing, transport other support measures to alleviate the working conditions of health sector workers are leaving behind the majority of women health workers, who are ranking at the bottom of the sector.
- We amplify our calls for specific allocation of resources and programs to address conditions of service for nurses directly in the up-coming 2022 National Budget.
- We reiterate our recommendations for Government’s engagement in progressive dialogue with workers in the healthcare sector with special regard for the conditions of the nursing force.
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, beerhalls, marketplaces and business spaces.
- 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe