576 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 25 th of October 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 132 688 after 37 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 13 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 24 October 2021 stood at 63 hospitalised cases: 1 New Admissions, 5 Asymptomatic cases, 42 mild-to-moderate cases, 13 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Units. Active cases went down to 582. The total number of recoveries went up to 127 433 increasing by 135 recoveries. The recovery rate remained at 95%. A total of 6 378 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 275 033. A total of 6 193 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 545 717. The death toll went up to 4 673, as there were 4 new deaths recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
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 over mass gatherings and marches/protests which we have been taking place recently, throughout the country, with the majority of participants not wearing face-masks or observing social distancing. We further 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 regular fumigation of work-spaces and temperature checks.
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 ongoing concerns, there is limited improvement in real terms for the conditions of critical essential service workers. This SITREP is developed by and through the collective network of organisational and individual members of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe who are engaged at community levels to national levels in the COVID19 Zimbabwe. We note further that as the leadership of the health sector is largely characterised by an over-representation of men thus resulting 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe