607 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 25th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 774 after 27 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 9 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 24 November 2021, 23 hospitalised cases: 1 New Admissions, 1 Asymptomatic cases, 15 mild-to-moderate cases, 2 severe cases and 5 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 18 687 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 737 463. A total of 7 486 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 774 929. Active cases go up to 530. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 540 increasing by 23 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll goes up to 4 704 as 1 new death was recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Potential Prevalence of Variants of Concern in Zimbabwe
We note the press release by the Ministry of Health and Child Care regarding the potential of variant B.1.1.529 of COVID-19 first detected in South Africa. The variant has been located in both South Africa and Botswana.
We note the calls for the nation not to panic. We note further the efforts to simultaneously ramp up the vaccination programme and increase the monitoring of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest.
- We commend the notice to the public regarding the variant of concern under public discussion.
- We raise concern at the low adherence to publishing genomic sequencing results in Zimbabwe for the public.
- We continue to amplify call in the health sector calling for increased monitoring of variants in Zimbabwe and increased seroprevalence testing.
Ending Violence Against women during COVID-19
Today, 25th November 2021, kicks off the campaign and commemorations of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. We highlight that research evidence has shown that in Zimbabwe, 1 in 3 women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. We reiterate that the situation has since worsened due to COVID-19 as socio-economic effects of the pandemic, coupled with living in the same space for a continued period of time increasing the number of GBV cases. The mandatory lockdowns have seen many women and girls being trapped with their abusers and not knowing where to go or how to get help during the lockdown. With COVID-19 still a reality and the threats of GBV on the lives of women and girls still ravaging,
We call for Government to prioritize the continuity of GBV services with GBV service providers continuously being recognised as essential workers, integration of GBV services as well as information vital in GBV and COVID-19 response to end violence against women.
COVID-19 Response in 2022 National Budget
We note the 2022 National Budget presented today and we note some overviews of the budget.
We commend the budget allocation of 12.6% at ZWL$117.7 billion, a notable stride by Government to fulfil the Abuja Declaration which seeks to strengthen Africa’s health systems by mandating Governments to allocate 15% of their government budgets to health.
- We note that the Government of Zimbabwe has received an additional 60 000 Sino pharm vaccines from the Government of Mauritius on the 24th of November, to which we thank and appreciate the solidarity and support of Government and People of Mauritius for the solidarity in combating COVID-19.
- We also further note, that the Government position on vaccine stocks was that Zimbabwe had a full complement of vaccines including injections for the same.
- We then note with concern in the National Budget that USD$77 million of the International Monetary Fund SDR’s are allocated by Government to support the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to be fully accountable and transparency on the financing of COVID-19 response and COVID-19 vaccine procurement directly. We call for accountability and responsiveness specifically to women and communities who were due to be front and centre of the SDR release by the IMF as part of the global calls to support equality and equity in the post COVID-19 recovery.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe