Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 604– WCOZ Situation Report

604 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 674 after 9 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 9 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 21 November 2021, 16 hospitalised cases: 2 New Admissions, 1 Asymptomatic cases, 14 mild-to-moderate cases, 1 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 9 479 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 680 636. A total of 4 659 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 752 352. Active cases go down to 510. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 465 increasing by 28 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 699 as no new death was recorded.

  • We note with concern, for a third consecutive day a drastic drop in vaccinations over the past two days after a period of four consecutive days with a high vaccination rate.
  • We urge continued reviews of vaccination best practices to secure the vaccination target of 50 00 vaccines a day is actually met and to ensure we are ahead of the infections by consistency in vaccination.

Critical Emerging Issue

Reporting on COVID-19 Variants in Zimbabwe

We raise with concern outstanding matters pertaining to national updates of both Variants of Interest and Variants of Concern in circulation in Zimbabwe. We reiterate and amplify concerns raised by heath workers regarding inadequate tracing and underreporting of the status of variants. This is particularly critical in the face of ongoing real word relaxations of COVID-19 measures, excessively weakened enforcement of regulations and low numbers of vaccination in the national population at a time when Zimbabwe is about to enter a period of increased social and economic movements prior to the Christmas break. Whilst we are fully aware of the continuing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe in particular travel related containment measures, we continue to seek an update regarding the tracking and tracing of COVID-19 Variants of Concern in circulation in Zimbabwe. Variant monitoring and the public sharing of the same are critical elements in public health measures and sustained community vigilance and public adherence to anti-COVID-19 measures. We note the concerns of communities to the potential presence of the variants which have been identified in South Africa and also the potential changes in the variants and mutations which were already circulating locally.

  • We urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care to update on the current mutations and variants identified and in circulation in Zimbabwe
  • We specifically call or for full reporting on Variants of Interest and Variants of Concern tracked and traced locally.

Outstanding issues

Ensuring Vaccine Access and Equity in Zimbabwe

We highlight concerns regarding the reporting on the data of the vaccination-drive. . We are concerned by the lack of publication of data in regards to districts that have received support, in particular, the rural and health- centres and disadvantaged communities. We are concerned by a shifting of attention in vaccine drive to those over 16 and under 18 to the disregard to those eligible and willing who were unable to access vaccination due to limits on access in their day to day lives. We stress that the status of the national vaccination programme, whilst meeting milestones must also be responsive to the needs and expectations of local Zimbabweans and their experiences. We are aware of efforts to target border communities directly however, reports from our networks, indicate significant pockets in those communities still being left behind. We are concerned by the lack of publication of the gender disaggregated data by district to advise the nation and the health sector at large, on key areas of focus and support, in order to ensure vaccine equity within the country. We further emphasise the need to interrogate clear gender dynamics arising from the chaos and congestion at vaccination centres which appear to be leaving women behind due to rigidities and inflexibilities in the system. In the same breadth, we are continually concerned that despite the procurement process of vaccines being much advertised, the realities on the ground continue to raise inconsistencies in supplies and shortages of vaccines in communities.

  • We call for a national report with clear gender disaggregated data on vaccine distribution and access per District
  • We urge the publication of data in regards to Districts that have received support, in particular the rural and health centres and disadvantaged communities.
  • We call for announcement and implementation of measures to ensure that border communities and hard to reach, remote communities receive expanded access to vaccines.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

 

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