601 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 19th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 615 after 22 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tallies were recorded in Manicaland with 7. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 18th November 2021, 21 hospitalised cases: 4 New Admissions, 2 Asymptomatic cases, 15 mild-to-moderate cases, 3 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Units. A total of 41 965 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 624 367. A total of 10 103 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 737 278. Active cases go up to 528. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 388 increasing by 9 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 699 as no new deaths were recorded.
We commend the 52 068 vaccines administered yesterday as this marks a day where Zimbabwe has met the national daily vaccination target of 50 000 vaccines administered daily. We continue to applaud both health workers and communities particularly in the face of increased warnings of the real risks of a fourth wave.
Critical Emerging Issue
Decrease of infections in schools
We highlight the decrease of infections in schools and learning centres across the country. Whilst we commend the expansion of the vaccine drive to directly include schools as vaccination centres, we also recognise the increased vigilance and efforts at boarding schools to shore up their infection control systems and surveillance operations. These efforts remain critical to protect communicates surrounding learning centres and enhanced community vigilance and slow down the potential spread of infections. However, we critique the response systems in schools to student presenting with colds and flue like symptoms.
- We call upon schools to respect the COVID-19 standard operating systems when students present with influenza like symptoms.
- We call upon school management systems to improve their response times and response action even in situations where they may suspect cases are for influenza.
- We critique schools whose poor response to students’ needs and health related crises, especially amongst boarders, precipitates parents to withdraw their children from schools in complete violation of infection control measures and the law.
Mass social gatherings amidst relaxed infection control measures 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.
- We continue to call for the strict implementation of public health safety protocols in the public transport system.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe