600 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 18th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 593 after 36 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tallies were recorded in Bulawayo and Matebeleland North both with 9. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 17 November 2021, 16 hospitalised cases: 4 New Admissions, 13 Asymptomatic cases, 13 mild-to-moderate cases, 2 severe cases and 1 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 35 436 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 582 402. A total of 7 117 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 727 175. Active cases go up to 515. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 379 increasing by 8 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 699 as no new death was recorded. Today marks three consecutive days of high rate of vaccination of first doses at over 30 00 persons beginning their vaccination journeys. This positive action must be encouraged and aggressively pursued by both health workers and communities particularly in the face of increased warning of the real risks of a fourth wave.
Critical Emerging Issue
Mass social gatherings amidst relaxed infection control meausres in public spaces
We are alarmed by the increased frequency of mass events in the social, economic and political arenas that do not respect the restrictions on crowd control, lockdown guidelines and infection control measures. We are concerned at the impact of the heat wave in the country which our communities report is fuelling the increased failure to adhere to proper masking up guidelines and weakening infection control measure in spaces were no social distancing is being respected or adhered to. With distress, we continue to note the growing practice of non-adherence to safety measures such as 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 especially in a context where number of fully vaccinated persons remains well under 30% risking a fourth wave.
- We urge Government and communities at large against COVID-19 complacency.
- We applaud the efforts to support increased vaccinations of minors and the inclusion of education centres as vaccination points.
- We urge law enforcement agents to strengthening efforts to ensure adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures.
- We call for all national institutions; social, political and economic to strengthen efforts to ensure their programmes and events adhere to and respect COVID-19 regulations as critical safeguarding steps.
- We urge citizens to observe public health guidelines as they meet and interact in public places such as entertainments centres, drinking spots and beerhalls.
Retail sector in infection control
We reiterate concerns over the weakened vigilance in retail supermarket stores including some large-scale national retailers, across the country in regards to COVID-19 measures in stores. Our monitoring reveals that a growing trend amongst most supermarkets, which are no longer adhering to the public health guidelines such as mandatory disinfection of premises, hand sanitizing for customers and temperature checks.
- We call for special attention to be paid at points of exist at supermarket, with store personnel, who handle receipts and shopping bags, from multiple customers who are not sanitizing their hands frequently.
- We call for an end to the practice of handling directly customer receipts and bags at store exists.
- We urge retailers and businesses to strictly adhere to public health guidelines in order to minimize risk of exposure to customers and the general populace.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe