Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 596– WCOZ Situation Report

596 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 14th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 438 after 10 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo and Mash East with 3 cases recorded in each Province. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 12 November 2021, 10 hospitalised cases: 0 New Admissions, 0 Asymptomatic case, 10 mild-to-moderate cases, 0 severe case and 0 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 6 259 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 468 344. A total of 4085 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 696 516. Active cases went up to 454. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 287 increasing by 6 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll went up to 4 697 after one new death was recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue

Gender lens

National COVID-19 response and recovery We continue to urge gender equality and women representation in COVID-19 response structures. We emphasize that the impacts of COVID-19 have been neither gender blind nor gender neutral, and that women have taken the hardest hit. Therefore, they should be allowed the space to be architects of their own solutions. We stress that women’s leadership, experiences and perspective are fundamental to the development of a gender-lens response and recovery. Participation and equal representation of women, as provided in the Zimbabwe’s policy and legislative framework cannot be dispensed with in the COVID-19 recovery path. Not only is this important for achievement of gender equality and democracy, gender machineries and women’s organizations work closely with communities and therefore possess unapparelled knowledge and experience on the challenges, women are facing on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, they constitute the voice of authority when it comes to the design and implementation of gender lens recovery strategies.

Thus, we recommend:

• As a starting point, more women including women’s rights organisations should form part of the steering committees for COVID-19 response Coordination, such as the COVID-19 National Taskforce.
• The Zimbabwe Gender Commission, to push for accountability to equal gender representation and balance in such key Committees, as envisaged by sections 17 and
56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
• Urgent publication of analysed sex and age disaggregated data by Government on the composition of the COVID-19 taskforce teams throughout the country.

Outstanding issues

Reduced media coverage of COVID-19 and community fatigue

As the COVID-19 active cases in the country have steadily declined, as evidenced by the cumulative number of the cases currently averaging below 500, we note, with concern, reduced media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe. We further note the COVID-19 fatigue not only amongst communities, but also amongst stakeholders, duty bearers, the media and information community. We reiterate that the vigilance of the press to COVID-19 issues domestically remains critical especially in monitoring, reporting and tracking the vaccination head immunity target, and any threats arising from potential virus mutations Cognisant of the key role played by the media in addressing matters of national concern;

• We urge the media to remain vigilant to the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
• We call upon the editors and respective newsrooms to continue to prioritise the coverage and reporting of COVID-19 particularly regards to the COVID-19 testing data and the vaccination head immunity targets.
• We call for gender responsive and sex aggregated reporting on the statistics of the recipients of the vaccine to date.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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