602 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 20th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 638 after 23 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tallies were recorded in Masvingo with 13 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 19th November 2021 was 21 hospitalised cases: 2 New Admissions, 2 Asymptomatic cases, 15 mild-to-moderate cases, 3 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Units. A total of 26 599 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 650 966. A total of 6 914 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 744 192. Active cases went down to 523. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 416 increasing by 28 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 699 as no new deaths were 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 at all levels. 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, provincial and district Taskforces.
- 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.
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 flu- 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe