610 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 28th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 991 after 40 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 16 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 27 November 2021, 17 hospitalised cases: 2 New Admissions, 0 Asymptomatic cases, 13 mild-to-moderate cases, 2 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 5 494 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 770 032. A total of 2 758 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 797 808. Active cases go up 631. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 655 increasing by 9 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 705 after no new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Lack of Social Distancing at VID centres
We spotlight and amplify concerns regarding various centres of the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. We are concerned at the high levels of congestion at the centres with persons of various ages seeking support and services offered at these centres across the country.
We note with grave concern that as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns this is a department that has inevitably built up, pent-up demand and thus the numbers of persons seeking to access services has been significant and clearly overwhelming. However, we remain disturbed by the lack of social distancing amongst the high levels of congestion, poor proper mask wearing adherence and lack of retro-fitting of the facilities. Whilst sanitisation is being offered at the centres, in real terms this is undermined by the congestion coupled with lack of social distancing at the centres.
- We call for the urgent consideration of implementation of and sustenance of infection control measures at the VID centres across the country.
- We recommend that VID centres to be expanded into vaccination centres urgently.
- We call for a shift in the booking systems of the services so as to better manage the high levels of demand for services and to offer these on a better scale for safety.
- We warn that the VID centres at present raise an imminent area of concern in the infections as we face a fourth wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant.
Equity in Global Crisis Responses
We reiterate the need for the demonstration of the step by step support to developing countries through coordinated, supported and resourced multilateral response efforts including and not limited to; the COVID-19 pandemic response . We highlight that matters of injustice in the global arena undermine the mutual aspirations of countries and the commitments made to the Sustainable Development Goals and a plethora of commitments under various multilateral arrangements. We condemn the responses to Omicron variants that has resulted in a shutting out of Southern Africa and raise concern regarding the one-sided approach of rich developed nations on this matter. We highlight that the Omicron variant is clearly prevalent elsewhere in the globe but rather it has been sterling medical work of African researchers in African countries who rang the alarm to a disproportionate negative response by the world.
We continue to call upon the developed nations of the globe, to place equity and justice at the centre of their mechanisms when addressing global matters that will not be resolved if everyone is not equitably supported.
We continue to critique vaccine inequity which presently has manifested itself in the population of the G20 countries having 73% of their populations vaccinated against a despairing figure of 3% of the populations of least developed countries. We amply the calls made the WHO which notes with concern that of 7 billion vaccine administered, 80% of those vaccines have been in the G20 Countries and only 0.4% in Africa.
- We call for the G20 to support direct increased support for developing countries to combat climate change and build back in a clean, climate smart integrated and sustainable post-COVID-19 economic recovery process.
- We call for increased vaccine support to Sub-Saharan Africa from developing countries which have already vaccinated 40% of their populations.
- We call to multilateral platforms to be just and as such, we amplify reminders that multilateral efforts that do not reform to protect the principle of equity and equality constrain themselves and undermine progress in critical global processes, to the undue distress of all nations.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe