Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 608– WCOZ Situation Report

608 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 26th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 836 after 62 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Midlands with 20 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 25 November 2021, 13 hospitalised cases: 3 New Admissions, 0 Asymptomatic cases, 7 mild-to-moderate cases, 2 severe cases and 4 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 19 035 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 756 498. A total of 12 250 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 786 979. Active cases go down to 505. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 627 increasing by 87 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 704 as no new death was recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue

Ramping up awareness of anti-COVID-19 measures in the public

We call for a renewed intensity by the public and national leadership to reinvigorate efforts to support positive health seeking behaviour in the community by restating the importance of adhering to social distancing, complete mask wearing and frequent sanitization. We are concerned that the COVID-19 fatigue at the point where variants of concern including Omicron are in circulation and may have significant impact on public health measures. Whilst we support the calls for public calm, we are concerned by the steady widely reported drop in adherence to infection control measures which remain the central means to protect communities against the spread of COVID-19. We raise particular concern to potential hotspot areas such as community water points, agro trade centres, public transport, bus stops and the public transport vehicles.

  • We therefore remind businesses, service providers and the general populace that wearing masks alone is not the panacea to curbing the spread of the pandemic. This measure should be supported with actions such as social and physical distancing, disinfecting work spaces and use of hand sanitizers.
  • In the same breadth, we urge Government, Civil Society organisations and stakeholders to raise awareness on the WHO updated guidelines for proper use of masks.
  • We call for increased efforts in the District COVID-19 taskforce teams on community engagement and availing testing and tracing support to communities.

Outstanding issues

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 Botswana. 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 amplifying call in the health sector calling for increased monitoring of variants in Zimbabwe and increased seroprevalence testing.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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